Looking for Gas Leak with Open Flame… Anyone Else See a Problem with This?


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The largest cylindrical gas container in the world in 1927 was in the heart of the industrial center of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On the morning of November 14, 1927, it developed a leak, so repairmen set out to look for it….

….with an open-flame blowlamp.

At 8:43 am either they found the leak, or the leak found them.

The tank, containing 5 million cu. ft of natural gas, rose in the air like a balloon and exploded. Chunks of metal, some weighing more than 100 lbs, were scattered great distances, and the combined effects of air pressure and fire left a square mile of devastation. Twenty-eight people were killed and hundreds were injured. The sound of the explosion was heard 20 miles away.

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