We have extensive knowledge and experience of investigating diffuse phase explosions, also known as deflagrations, such as those involving volatile flammable liquid vapours, mains gas and pressurised gases stored in cylinders.
Diffuse phase explosions can cause devastating structural damage to the building of origin and the surrounding area. The detailed and meticulous approach employed at scenes by our scientists is essential to recover all the available evidence in order to determine the cause and origin of the explosion.
Below is a video of a cigarette lighter subjected to a small fire. It produces quite an impressive ‘pop’ for such a small item!
The image above shows the damage caused to three houses following an explosion. The middle house had been converted into two flats approximately 2 years prior to the incident. Due to the structural damage excavation concentrated on the middle house. A gas meter from outside the middle house was examined. It had not been capped off, the lever on the inlet pipe was turned ‘on’, and there were no internal restrictions. Excavation revealed there were no gas appliances in the property and there had not been a sustained fire. Removal of the debris exposed a gas pipe which had been attached to the gas meter. It ran under the floorboards to the living room; the end was not capped but open. Therefore the explosion was caused by the release and delayed ignition of mains gas from an open pipe under the floorboards in the ground floor flat.