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Stop press: Two injured in Perth HC refrigerant explosion

TWO people have been seriously injured in Perth, Western Australia by a vehicle explosion involving flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants.

Both victims were occupants of the vehicle when hydrocarbon refrigerant was suddenly released into the cabin and ignited.

The explosion involved a older commercial vehicle that was around 14 years old. Flammable hydrocarbon refrigerant, rather than industry standard R134a, was used to service its air-conditioning system.

Worksafe is investigating the incident and while full details are not yet known, it is understood that excessive pressure in the system caused the TX valve to fail.

VASA is in communication with the investigators and will release more details as they become available.

It is not clear whether the vehicle was stationary or in motion at the time of the explosion, but if it had been travelling at high speed or in a tunnel at the time, the already dire consequences could have been far worse.

VASA has a long history of issuing warnings about the dangers of using flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants in systems designed for R134a and believes this explosion is could be just the first of many incidents if something is not done.

The innocent victims of this explosion will never be able to forget the horror of the situation. How long will it take before someone is killed?

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