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Aviation company fined $56,000 for plane fuel tank explosion

Date: 
Thursday, 13 September, 2012 - 10:00
Category: 
Incidents & prosecutions

An aviation company has been fined $56,000 by the SA Industrial Magistrates Court over an incident in which a worker was injured by an explosion in the fuel tank of a plane.

The worker suffered minor burns to his face and lacerations when the fuel tank of the Cessna twin-engine plane exploded in a hangar at Adelaide Airport earlier this year.

The company, TAE Aviation, was fined after it admitted to failing to provide a safe workplace through a failure to properly drain the plane’s fuel tank before repairs commenced.

SA Industrial Magistrate Stephen Lieschke said the worker was “relatively fortunate” not to have been injured more seriously.

“He was exposed to an explosive force, of sufficient intensity to deform metal and break an arm bone, and with the potential to cause shards of metal to fly off,” said Lieschke, who noted that the company had taken an “unacceptably casual attitude” in preparing the aircraft for repairs.

“It accepts it should also have developed and implemented a safe working procedure that eliminated or minimised the risk of generation of sparks,” he said.