mailing list archives
Re: manhole covers
From: Sean Donelan <sean () donelan com>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 17:43:54 -0500 (EST)
Check out Georgetown in Washington DC, the exploding manhole capital of
the world. They have a lot of experience with exploding manholes, from
many different causes. The most recent incident was in the last couple of
days. There is a lot of energy in being pumped into utility lines. A
short circuit can release that energy into the underground vaults, and
blow the manhole cover a considerable distance.
The Washington Post also has a special report covering exploding manholes
On Thu, 20 Feb 2003, Allen Hamner wrote:
I am a chemist who consults with the mayor of Bluefield WV where an
incident two weeks ago (a cold day) blew a 70 pound iron cover 10 feet
from an conduit tunnel containing several public untility lines. We
believe we can exclude a natural gas leak. Rumor has it that hydrogen
is involved, which may arise by electrolysis (?) or pyrolysis of
insulation (?). A previous incident had done no damage but this
explosion destroyed a nearby plate-glass window.
There is no coal in the area so mine gas seepage is excluded. Sewer
gas is tentatively not an issue. The source of the spark is unknown.
I would like to participate in the exchange on this topic.
Allen Hamner (Ph.D.)
hamner_a () wvwc edu
- Re: manhole covers Sean Donelan (Feb 20)