Thread: Tank Recovery

  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer
    NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    25 NW of the GW

    Post Tank Recovery

    PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) - Two workers were found dead Thursday
    afternoon after apparently suffocating in a large stainless steel
    tank at a natural foods manufacturing plant.
    Rescue crews responded around 2:30 p.m. to Spectrum Naturals
    Inc., and found the pair unconscious in an empty tank that company
    officials said had been filled with deadly argon gas as part of a
    cleaning process to expunge oxygen.
    Firefighters said they had to pump oxygen into the tank before
    they could pull out the men
    , who authorities identified as
    Francisco Estrella and Javier Del Rio. The 12-foot high tank is
    used to process flax seed oil for organic foods, culinary oils and
    nutritional supplements.
    "It's not clear whether the person fell in or was cleaning the
    tank," Petaluma Fire Marshall Mike Ginn said. "It appears that
    another employee attempted a rescue."
    State safety investigators and the Sonoma County district
    attorney interviewed plant workers and company officials about the
    "This is a really close knit group that works here," Jethren
    Phillips, Spectrum's chief executive officer, told the Santa Rosa
    Press Democrat. "We're devastated."

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press

    Comments anyone? What's your Dept. SOP on tank rescue or recovery?

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    dfd3dfd3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002


    They probably meant that the FD ventilated the tank before effecting rescue/recovery. I think the standard is 4 air exchanges if my memory serves me correct. the first thing we would do would to monitor and ventilate while the CSR team is setting up rigging and all that, by the time you are ready to enter the tank unless there is a source of deadly IDLH gas going into the tank it should be clear, but youll be monitroing to determine that. Since it was an IDLH atmosphere to begin with Id go in on air because you could run into a bad pocket of air in the tank so just to be safe id want to be on air, but really if you have over-pressurized the tank with clean air and have monitored at all levels it should be good, but i dont like to rely on what it should be, things happen especially in technical rescue so id error on being overly safe.

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