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Probe continues into death blast

THE cause of an explosion which killed a worker in Yangshan Deep Water Port last Friday is still under investigation, authorities said yesterday.

Workers were pumping air into the liquefied natural gas tubes for a pressure test when the tubes exploded. The pressure reached was about 80 percent of the designed pressure.

"The originally designed pressure is 15.6 MPa. The explosion happened when the pressure climbed up to 12.3 MPa," said Xie Liming, head of the Shanghai Work Safety Administration.

Some 500 meters of the piping network burst into fragments, buckling cement crossbeams.

A steel rod sent flying killed one worker in his bed, while cement, stone and metal fragments injured another 15.

The pipes are due to become operational next month. "It will solve the city's gas supply shortage," Xie said.

But he added that ensuring the safety of work at extra-high pressure and extra-low temperatures was more important now.

Liquefied natural gas is 160 degrees below zero when unloaded from ships. The volume expands 600 times when transformed to its gaseous state.

The accident happened on Ximentang Isle.


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