Propane explosion at thermal soil remediation plant

Incident Investigation

Propane explosion at thermal soil remediation plant

November 27, 2019


Reference Number:

II-947637-2019 (#16026)

Location: Princeton

Regulated industry sector: Gas - Propane system

Incident overview

The thermal soil remediation plant utilizes a propane fueled counter flow dryer which evaporates moisture and oil from contaminated soil. An explosion occurred inside the drum of a soil reclamation extractor which severely damaged the air blower and burner, which detached from the extractor. The transfer ducting to the cyclone was damaged beyond repair. It is highly likely that continued operation of the plant without proper repair of the combustion air damper allowed for failed ignition attempts and inadequate purging of the system. This allowed gas to accumulate and eventually ignite.


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