Dangerous incident: small fire

Summary: A small fire was reported on an excavator left hand engine. The operator noticed the fire on IR camera screen, shut down the engine and put the fire out with a hand-held extinguisher. There was residual oil in the turbo lagging, which was soaked in oil and the fire reignited. The operator put it out again with the fire extinguisher. There was a loose fitting on the poly-steel braided turbo feed line to the o-ring connection. This was the oil that soaked the turbo lagging. There was mid-life maintenance carried out on the engine about three days previously.
Recommendations to industry:

  • Good maintenance practices are essential in preventing the ignition of combustible fluids from hose or pipe failures.
  • Where practicable, hoses should be segregated from hot surfaces using hard barriers along with the use of non-flammable coolants.

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