Explosion Rocks Atmore Recycling Facility

August 4, 2022

An explosion rocked a recycling yard in Atmore Thursday morning.

An employee of Atmore Recycling on West Nashville Avenue was using a cutting torch to cut a large fuel tank that had been scrapped. Officials said the cutting torch ignited some residual vapors inside the tank, causing the explosion.

The employee was taken to Atmore Community Hospital for evaluation and soon released.

There was minor damage to the drop ceiling reported at a nearby office building on Tennant Drive, adjacent to the recycling Center.

People in the surrounding area reported feeling the explosion.

Pictured top: A large fuel tank that had been scrapped exploded while it was being cut Thursday morning at a recycling company in Atmore. Pictured below: A drop ceiling at a nearby business was damaged. Photo (top) courtesy Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance and photos (below) reader submitted for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


14 Responses to “Explosion Rocks Atmore Recycling Facility”

  1. Wayne on August 6th, 2022 8:50 pm

    41 years retired chemical industry safety coordinator here.
    Seen all the bad and the good.
    Yes Scott, your quarterbacks…benched.
    God Bless you anyway.
    The worst thing in safety is not training and verification…no o2 meters, no firewatch..no rescue…or. cutting back on manpower because safety affects the bottom line..being educated enough to know the difference…400k of safety equipment with no calibration..or people not trained on how to use equipment…#1..people have all the answers or not and bluff their way with the unsuspecting.
    Leave anything out?
    Famous saying because it cost..”keep your eye on it” cant fix it right now..
    Leaking defective acetylene hoses are also overlooked…and no safety equipment or work equipment maintenance…bottom line again.
    Take care fella…not my first rodeo.

  2. Scott on August 6th, 2022 5:12 pm

    No Wayne
    Not playing Monday morning quarterback just speaking from 20+ yrs of professional industrial safety experience and a Batchelor degree in Safety. This was an incident that only blind luck did not result in multiple fatalities. Simple atmospheric testing would have prevented it.

  3. Shipbuilder on August 5th, 2022 1:01 pm

    In short, any company doing hot work on any tank or confined space should know gas-freeing requirements prior to commencing welding, cutting or grinding work…in ship building or ship repair, a “safe for hot work” certificate is posted by the marine chemist, after the interior of the space is tested for oxygen levels and confirmed free from combustible gases….many workers have been killed when this OSHA-required process is not followed. In this situation the person is fortunate to be alive….I suspect it was a diesel tank instead of gasoline…

    Also agree with Scott…this won’t end well for the business…

  4. Stupid is Stupid Does on August 5th, 2022 8:03 am

    And you wonder why there is warning labels on places where it’s obvious.

  5. Wayne on August 5th, 2022 7:43 am

    Look at all the experts
    Never ever rely on ANY FORUM on how to cut a fuel tank.
    People like all of you get people killed with all your self induced wisdom on this subject.
    What this guy did was as wreckless and dangerous as everyone of you guys backyard hobo suggestions.
    You all are dangerous.

  6. Robert Bruner on August 5th, 2022 4:18 am

    And here I thought I was dumb.

  7. Ed on August 4th, 2022 9:24 pm

    Someone forget to put all the Government required labeling on the tank. It’s the same as labeling the coffee is hot, don’t spill on yourself.

  8. Susie on August 4th, 2022 6:28 pm

    Gas tank & cutting torch don’t even sound like the two should go together.

  9. Scott Janes on August 4th, 2022 6:23 pm

    Ok so OSHA’S first question will be what were your atmospheric monitoring readings prior to start of the hot work. After that just write the check.

  10. Industry pro on August 4th, 2022 5:52 pm

    Typically one should fill half full of water or nitrogen purge when cutting any tank thats had or has flammable vapors or materials stored within

  11. concerned on August 4th, 2022 4:14 pm

    never done one myself but I would have filled it up with water after removing the valve then let set a couple days then empty and cut it. them fumes I would think would need time to escape ??? but what do I know I’m just a old school old man.. .. end of story.

  12. David Huie Green on August 4th, 2022 3:01 pm

    I know several with experience who could have mentioned the associated danger.

    Glad he survived.

  13. mike on August 4th, 2022 2:34 pm

    anybody that would cut up a old fuel tank with a torch has got to be out of there mind. I hope he is ok.

  14. Chris on August 4th, 2022 2:05 pm

    Common sense, not so common

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