8 February, 2008
The CAA is investigating an incident involving a cylinder containing a liquefied flammable gas, which exploded in a warehouse following carriage on a cargo aircraft. One person was injured. The investigation is currently exploring the possibility that a reaction occurred between the contents, ethyl chloride, and the material of the cylinder, aluminium alloy. Packing Instruction 200 of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air specifically states that "aluminium alloy cylinders are not authorized" for the transport of pure ethyl chloride, UN1037. However, apart from the general requirement for gas cylinders to be compatible with their contents, no specific mention is made of the prohibition of aluminium alloy cylinders containing mixtures of which ethyl chloride is a constituent (e.g. Liquefied gas, flammable, n.o.s. UN3161). With immediate effect, operators holding CAA approval to carry dangerous goods, who are offered ethyl chloride or any mixture of liquefied flammable gas containing ethyl chloride, should confirm with the shipper that the cylinder is not constructed of aluminium alloy.
For further information you may contact:
Dr. Katherine Rooney
Programme Manager, Dangerous Goods