Space Heater, Polymer Dust Spark Explosion At Edmond Company


Thursday, January 12th 2012, 4:40 pm
By: News 9


A Thursday morning explosion rocked an Edmond business that makes products for the oil industry.

The Edmond Fire Department and Oklahoma Natural Gas crews responded to the blast at Tuboscope near W. 33rd Street and Kelly just before 9 a.m. Investigators said the explosion was ignited by a space heater. When firefighters arrived on scene they found four men who'd been injured.

1/12/2012 Related Story: Four Injured In Chemical Explosion In Edmond

The four men were working on a machine when a pipe became clogged with polymer dust. While they were fixing it, the pipe became disconnected and shot a dust cloud of polymer into the air. A space heater inside the building sparked the explosion.

"We were able to get inside and locate the area where the explosion occurred," said Maj. Lewis. "There was some fire debris but there was no fire at that time. The fire had self-extinguished."

A spokeswoman for EMSA confirmed the patients were all men between the ages of 28 and 56 who were taken to Integris Baptist Hospital for treatment.

"The first one had third-degree burns and was transported emergency to treatment facilities," Edmond Fire Department Major Kelly Lewis said.

Major Lewis confirmed the other three men were transported non-emergency to the hospital. One victim suffered second-degree burns and a broken heel, another was treated for first-degree burns and released, and the fourth victim was treated for burns.

Tuboscope treats oil field pipes to prevent corrosion. Investigators said the polymer that ignited was only highly flammable because it was in dust form.