by , on February 24, 2012

Babine Forest Products’ sawmill exploded in a fireball, leveling the plant on the evening of January 20th.   The roof lifted off of the football field-sized building, then came down, crushing the sawmill.  Clothing was partially burned off, hard hats melted onto heads,  workers had burns to backs, arms, and legs, and others were blown out of the building.  Most likely an electrical malfunction in the 150hp motor caused a 36-year-old electrical switch to spark, igniting a small amount of sawdust.  Mill employees indicated they heard a loud explosion and saw flames shooting out of the electrical room.  Subsequent examination of the switch determined there was sawdust accumulation in and on the equipment, noting the sawdust appeared to be unusually dry.

Click here to read the article from 1/31.

Click here to read the article from 2/1 regarding previous combustible dust issues.

Hugh Hoagland
About author:
Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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