Improper Use of Propane Tanks Leads to Death

A 19 year old young man in Tennessee decided that he wanted to make a portable acetylene welder/cutter. The young man chose to use two small 20 pound propane tanks in which to store the oxygen and acetylene. A welding supply store in Tennessee told Mr. Martin Toth, Chief Inspector of Tennessee, that oxygen is usually supplied stored at between 1800 to 2200 pounds per square inch. The propane tank with the oxygen exploded and the young man was nearly cut in two. A 12 year old standing near by was thrown 30-40 feet by the concussion resulting from the explosion. Thanks to the grace of God the child survived. Investigators for the state of Tennessee could find very little of the remains of the tank. As in North Carolina these vessels are exempt in Tennessee under the boiler and pressure vessel law. People should be aware that misuse of pressure equipment like this is deadly. This event makes this danger very clear.

Information of incident provided by courtesy of:
Martin Toth
Chief Inspector