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February 2002 Vol. 28, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Fatal Tank Explosion

from the February, 2002 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Ron Scherrer, a 72-year-old owner of the Dive Center in Sebastian, FL, died last November when a scuba tank he was filling ruptured and blew out part of his shop. The explosion split the tank wide open and shattered a concrete cooling tub. Fragments of concrete caused massive chest and head trauma, which killed Scherrer instantly.

Bill High, president of Professional Scuba Inspectors, reports that the tank was an older 72-cubic-foot steel model. It evidently had not been hydrostatically tested since 1991, yet somehow passed a visual inspection in 1999. Based on High’s preliminary investigation of photos from the scene, it appears that the tank’s interior was badly pitted from corrosion. The case is under investigation by local police and the shop’s insurance carrier.

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