Alert 12 – 23 Exploding Ball Valve Results in Near Miss
The rig welder was instructed to cut a mild steel hose fitting from a 4 inch (10cm) brass ball valve. Working at his bench with a hot work permit, the welder used an oxy-acetylene torch to cut the mild steel fitting close to the threaded end of the valve. Having finished the job the welder turned to put his torch away. At this time an extremely loud explosion took place and a short threaded section of the valve closest to the cut fitting blew across the lease, hit the ground, making a small crater approximately 26 feet (8m) away from the bench. The threaded section bounced and flew another 39 feet (12m), hitting and denting a steel cargo container.