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In early March 2020, a demolition team was taking down a large industrial unit. The team had removed fire suppression pipework from the roof and collected portable fire extinguishers from around the building.
The pipework was placed in a large pile while the fire extinguishers were put in a collection area away from other activities. One extinguisher was mixed in with the pipework.
An excavator operator was subsequently using a hydraulic shear attachment to cut the fire suppression pipe into sections by pulling lengths from the pile, cutting them and placing the cut sections to one side.
The operator did not see the pressurised fire extinguisher and cut it in half. The bottom section of the extinguisher travelled through the air and crashed through the roof of a warehouse approximately 300 metres away. It landed in a laydown area that was not being used at the time. No one was injured.
Following the incident, the demolition team instigated procedures to spread scrap material out rather than placing it in large piles.