Explosion of Air Receiver on Excavator
While an attempt was being made to start the diesel engine of a dragline type excavator, a severe explosion took place, the operator unfortunately being killed. The engine was normally started by compressed air from an air bottle or receiver charged to a pressure of 350 psi by a small auxiliary engine driven compressor fitted on the excavators. On an occasion when this had broken down, the air bottle was replenished by the engineer-in-charge from a cylinder of compressed air. The compressor engine remained unserviced and when the starting bottle again became depleted, the excavator operator re-charged it himself from another cylinder without the knowledge of the engineer. The engine was started satisfactorily, and the bottle charged again to 350 psi in readiness for the start on the following day. It was while an attempt was being made to start the engine on this occasion that the explosion took place. The cylinder used by the operator for re-charging the receiver contained not air but oxygen.