Severity
Incident
Leak
Yes
Ignition
Yes

Incident SynopsisDuring shipping preparation operations, out-gassed hydrogen/oxygen from a recently discharged silver/zinc battery in a hermetically sealed drum was ignited. Ignition was caused by a spark generated by the scraping of the battery against the side of the drum. An explosion occurred, blowing the lid from the drum, charring desiccant bags within the drum, and causing other damage.CauseThe cause of the incident was inadequate handling/transporting/storage techniques. The battery was placed in the drum too soon after discharge.

Incident Date
Dec 31, 1969
Setting
Equipment
  • Batteries and Related Equipment
  • Batteries
  • Batteries and Related Equipment
  • Battery Storage Container
Damage and Injuries
When Incident Discovered
Lessons Learned

It is characteristic of silver/zinc batteries to outgas both hydrogen and oxygen for several hours after discharge. Also, in the future, the battery should be properly secured inside the container.