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LPG Storage Tank Accidents: Initiating Events, Causes, Scenarios, and Consequences

Abstract

Storage tanks are used in process industries to store large volumes of flammable materials. The frequency of storage tank accidents is low, but there is considerable damage in case of occurrence. LP gas storage tanks are no exception to this rule, and due to storage under pressure and above the boiling point, a small leak has the potential to become a widespread accident. There have been several accidents related to storage tanks over the past years, and if we learn from these accidents, we can prevent them from happening again. The purpose of this study is to investigate liquefied gas tank accidents and provide solutions to prevent and control accidents. All LP gas tank accidents were extracted from valid databases, paper, and other reliable sources. Of these, 23 accidents that had a detailed report were analyzed with fault tree analysis. These accidents were investigated in terms of consequences, domino effects, and causes. The most important accident scenarios were identified, and solutions were provided for prevention and control according to past accidents. A total of 638 people were killed and 7,280 were injured in the 23 accidents. That means an average of 31 people were killed and 364 injured in each accident. 67% of accidents had at least one casualty. Management and organizational factors and design and installation errors were involved in 25% and 23% of accidents, respectively. Domino effects occurred in 70% of accidents, and the accident was not limited to the storage tank and spread to other areas. 43% of accidents resulted in a BLEVE phenomenon. The results of this study can prevent similar accidents in LPG storage tanks.

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Correspondence to Omran Ahmadi.

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Sarvestani, K., Ahmadi, O. & Alenjareghi, M.J. LPG Storage Tank Accidents: Initiating Events, Causes, Scenarios, and Consequences. J Fail. Anal. and Preven. 21, 1305–1314 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11668-021-01174-y

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Keywords

  • LPG
  • Accident cause
  • Initiating events
  • Consequences