Conroe, TX – An electrical panel explosion and fire at Aegion Coating Services’ production plant sent two electricians to the hospital this month.
Investigators say two electricians were seriously burned when a high voltage electrical panel they were working on exploded.
According to the local Fire Marshal, multiple agencies responded to the emergency and the facility was evacuated as a precaution. One report described heavy black smoke billowing from a large warehouse at the site. The fire caused by the electrical panel explosion was quickly put out by firefighters. The chemicals present at this plant were a concern for area firefighters, but it was reported that no chemicals were released and local residents were not evacuated.
Both affected electricians were transported to the hospital for burn treatments, but were back to work when the plant was authorized to resume operations later that same day.
The Aegion chemical plant facility north of Houston specializes in pipeline coatings for both onshore and offshore installations. The incident is currently under investigation by the County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Please contact Martin Technical to learn more about Electrical and Arc Flash safety.
Mattawa, WA – Five electricians and dam operators were hospitalized last week in an arc flash accident at the Priest Rapids Dam located on the Columbia River in central Washington state, bordering Yakima and Grant counties. Six workers total were injured as a result of an electrical equipment malfunction which caused an explosion at the hydroelectric dam.
The Grant County Public Utility District said that the explosion happened in the dam’s powerhouse. Two dam workers were treated in intensive care with “large burns,” the other three suffered slightly less severe burns. The five men were airlifted to Seattle following the explosion at the hydropower dam.
Pacific Northwest National Lab’s chief electrical engineer Jeff Dagle explained an arc flash results from a short circuit involving high-voltage electricity. Circuit breakers are designed to minimize arc flash and a failure with those may now be a focus of the accident investigation.
The PUD said damage from the explosion was limited to one generating unit. The rest of Priest Rapids Dam continues to operate and no threat is anticipated to downstream communities.
The Priest Rapids Dam was built in the 1950s and is one of two operated by the Grant PUD along the Columbia River. The publicly-owned utility serves about 46,000 customers in Grant County, which is about 150 miles east of Seattle. The concrete dam is 178 feet high and more than 10,000 feet long