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October 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 42, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Dive Shop Tank Explosion

from the October, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

On August 24th, dive shop employee Mattias Lock, 26, was severely injured at Pro Dive near Sydney, Australia, when he was walking toward a customer's aluminum tank he was filling in a workroom at the back of the premises and it exploded. He was alone in the dive shop, and one leg was so severely damaged, it had to be amputated above the knee. His other leg was broken, and he sustained head injuries resulting in a swollen brain.

A bulletin accompanying an appeal for donations to help the young man who is now recovering reads, "It is too early to say what caused the explosion of the cylinder as the investigation continues. However, it is widely known that problems exist with older cylinders manufactured from certain compositions of aluminum alloy such as 6051."

Legislation in Australia requires scuba cylinders to be hydrostatically tested every 12 months. Undercurrent has been told that the tank was out-of-test and was not intended for use with scuba, but for paintball games. Earlier news stories that reported the tank was being filled with oxygen were incorrect. Although some filling stations use water jackets or protective cages, there is no requirement to fill scuba cylinders behind any sort of protective barrier in Australia, just as there is no requirement in the USA.

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