Re: [SystemSafety] Oil train fireball

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 09:14:56 +0100

Thanks, Martyn and Kevin!

I was somewhat uncreative with my search. "Fireball" and "model" gave me large amounts of astrophysics, which has a Fireball Model which is apparently hot. NASA has a one-page briefing at It's about the daily gamma-ray bursts which people have suggested come from collapsars.

Other stuff must have been buried further down than my patience. The key-keyword from Kevin turned out to be "vapor".

I thought I'd share what appear to be the most useful references. It's rare that I think "gosh, I really should find out the basics about that" and be so quickly fulfilled. Remembering what is was like getting reliable information even twenty years ago, this all seems a bit like magic.

All of these references are helpful with the qualitative characterisation, and it seems as if some of the basic math is also straightforward.

There was a huge fireball/explosion/BLEVE (great word that!) in the Urals in 1989. Apparently a leak in a pipeline next to rail tracks let a lot of vaopr out. Two trains passing each other apparently ignited it, and the effects covered kilometers.

One of the scientific investigators appeared to have moved to Singapore and has a paper giving a simplified model of BLEVE/fireball phenomena :Novozhilov 2001 I have no idea of course whether the model is any good, but the author's credentials are first-rate.

As as those of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering :-). Its Guidelines for Evaluating the Characteristics of Vapor Cloud Explosions, Flash Fires, and BLEVEs were published on-line in 2010 through John WIley & Sons and is available at

Another AIChEng publication with Wiley from 1996 contains an Appendix on Explosion and Fire Phenomena and Effects and is also on-line

Finally, there are some lecture notes from the Uni Toledo in Ohio on Fires and Explosions

I'll mug up on it a little before I approach Andrew Curran about Buncefield.

PBL Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany Je suis Charlie
Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319

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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Wed Feb 18 2015 - 09:15:06 CET

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