Tanker Explosion

A diesel tanker exploding is truly disturbing. Let us analyze possible reasons why this explosion occurred.

  1. I. What causes explosion?
  2. II. Properties of Diesel
  3. III. Environmental Factors
  4. IV. Human Factors

I. What causes explosion?

Generally, explosion occurs when three elements are present as shown the "Infernal Triangle"

Fuel or Explosive material
Explosive material may any flammable or combustible material and could in the form of gas, vapor or mist, dust, or fibers. In this particular case, it is the diesel fuel.
Oxygen or air
There is an abundance of this outdoor.
Source of Ignition
The ignition source must have enough energy to ignite an explosive mixture.

The explosive material must have sufficient quantity, mixed with sufficient amount of oxygen and ignition by a source with sufficient energy to form an explosive mixture.


A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) - Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) - Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).