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A fireball engulfed half of a drill rig while in the process of drilling a shot hole. Subsequent investigation revealed the cause of the fire was the failure of the oil return hose to the separator/receiver in the air compressor. The failed hose was a 50.8 mm 100R1 type hose, as specified in AS 3791-1991 Hydraulic Hoses. This type of hose consisted of an inner tube of oil-resistant synthetic rubber, a single medium-carbon steel wire braid reinforcement, and an oil-and-weather resistant synthetic rubber cover. The wire braiding was found to be severely corroded in the area of the failure zone. The physical cause of the hose failure was by severe localized corrosion of the layer of reinforcing braid wire at the transition between the coupling and the hose at the end of the ferrule. This caused a reduction of the wire cross-sectional area to the extent that the wires broke. Once the majority of the braid wires were broken there was not enough intrinsic strength in the rubber inner hose to resist the normal operating pressures.

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