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Fire at Liseberg's Oceana water park

JochemvdMeulen

Roller Poster
Holy S#*!
I am literally lost for words.

@FogZog I am also so curious about this. I can imagine that the explosions were called by gas bottles used e.g. for welding.
@Tonkso The Waterpark was scheduled to open this year, but was not yet finished.
Is there any water park hardware that could of caused this? It looks pretty intentional...
I think It is more likely that it was a smoke explosion as the building was clearly on fire before the explosion.
 

Efteldingus

Mega Poster

Thats not looking good.
That's absolutely appalling. Glad to see nobody got seriously hurt and insurance should cover everything, but this is just mad. Looks like a substantial gas leak, the way the fire travels through the tubes reminds me of the propane canon I once made as a kid..
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
you can see the flash as it makes it's way down the slide, looks like there was a build up of some sort of gas inside the slide. Wonder if that was gas that had built up because of the fire, or something else.
 

TPoseOnTantrum

Giga Poster
So sad, what is it with all these theme park fires in the last 12 months
The list of which, if you're one of the unfortunate goons like me who's had to keep track, is fairly extensive;
Seriously since when is this the norm?
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Is there any water park hardware that could of caused this? It looks pretty intentional...
Like @Trax, I suspect welding. Not necessarily metal welding, although it could be. But a waterpark also contains all sorts of waterproofing; plastic and fibreglass and sometimes asphalt membranes, that all need to be welded together to form continuous seals. Some of those welds are chemical (glue), but hot air is also often used. That means gas torches. It's fairly easy to start a fire using those - it happens all the time during roofing, when somebody tries to weld a roof membrane directly on flammable insulation. Igniting nearby stuff by accident is quite common too. If that stuff is very flammable, the fire springs up very fast, and you get a "drop everything and run" situation. But that might leave the welding torch behind in the fire, with its sizable gas tank ...

@Efteldingus also mentioned propane, which could be a perpetrator in another way: a water park needs a ton of heat. That tends to mean a really big heat pump, and a beefy HVAC system. And propane is a very common transfer medium in heat pumps. The explosions could be caused by burst propane lines in the HVAC system. They certainly occurred high in a tower, which is where you usually place the exhaust outlet for the ventilation system. I've heard somewhere that it's common in Sweden to recover heat from the ventilation air using a heat exchanger and a heat pump in the ventilation outlet. It seems reasonable that a fire in that location would be quite explosive. Of course, that assumes there was already a fire elsewhere in the building, because it's not easy to start a fire in a closed propane line in an HVAC system.

I think @Hixee might know a lot more about this than I do.
 

Trax

Mega Poster
you can see the flash as it makes it's way down the slide, looks like there was a build up of some sort of gas inside the slide. Wonder if that was gas that had built up because of the fire, or something else.
You can also see that the bright slide in front looks like its being compressed by something a second before it explodes.
 

Christian

Hyper Poster
Just got the text that the danger is over and all restrictions are lifted. I have now opened all windows and am airing out the smoke from my apartment.

The report has come that 22 people were lightly injured by the fire and one worker is missing. His family has been notified. If he was in the tower during the explosions, I am guessing he might be gone for.

The head fireman described the fire as probably "flammable gas fuelled" which might be what @Pokemaniac is speculating. He also declared that there is a very high risk of structural collapse which has limited the fire service's ability to fight the fire and enter the building. The building is apparently a total wright off. Liseberg have gone declaring that they want to rebuild it. The building is still the responsibility of the construction company, NCC, as Liseberg hasn't yet taken possession of it. NCC say that the project is insured.

Personally, I am sure Liseberg will still go for the water park idea. How much they will/can salvage of this building we will have to see. There might also be long investigations and/or court cases. Anyways, I am sure there will be many years until we finally see a Liseberg water park.
 
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Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Like @Trax, I suspect welding. Not necessarily metal welding, although it could be. But a waterpark also contains all sorts of waterproofing; plastic and fibreglass and sometimes asphalt membranes, that all need to be welded together to form continuous seals. Some of those welds are chemical (glue), but hot air is also often used. That means gas torches. It's fairly easy to start a fire using those - it happens all the time during roofing, when somebody tries to weld a roof membrane directly on flammable insulation. Igniting nearby stuff by accident is quite common too. If that stuff is very flammable, the fire springs up very fast, and you get a "drop everything and run" situation. But that might leave the welding torch behind in the fire, with its sizable gas tank ...

@Efteldingus also mentioned propane, which could be a perpetrator in another way: a water park needs a ton of heat. That tends to mean a really big heat pump, and a beefy HVAC system. And propane is a very common transfer medium in heat pumps. The explosions could be caused by burst propane lines in the HVAC system. They certainly occurred high in a tower, which is where you usually place the exhaust outlet for the ventilation system. I've heard somewhere that it's common in Sweden to recover heat from the ventilation air using a heat exchanger and a heat pump in the ventilation outlet. It seems reasonable that a fire in that location would be quite explosive. Of course, that assumes there was already a fire elsewhere in the building, because it's not easy to start a fire in a closed propane line in an HVAC system.

I think @Hixee might know a lot more about this than I do.
How much propane is actually in an industrial sized HVAC? I'm guessing it depends on the distance between the compressor and evaporator coil, but generally speaking how much on average for the biggest systems?

Our cellar cooler, which cools a fairly large beer cellar to 12c 24/7, only has a few grams in it. Seriously, it's weighed out from a can the size of a lynx can, so I wonder what the difference is. I'm guessing quite a lot judging from the video if that's a potential cause.

Just got the text that the danger is over and all restrictions are lifted. I have now opened all windows and am airing out the smoke from my apartment.

The report has come that 22 people were lightly injured by the fire and one worker is missing. His family has been notified. If he was in the tower during the explosions, I am guessing he might be gone for.

The head fireman described the fire as probably "flammable gas fuelled" which might be what @Pokemaniac is speculating. He also declared that there is a very high risk of structural collapse which has limited the fire service's ability to fight the fire and enter the building. The building is apparently a total wright off. Liseberg have gone declaring that they want to rebuild it. The building is still the responsibility of the construction company, NCC, as Liseberg hasn't yet taken possession of it. NCC say that the project is insured.

Personally, I am sure Liseberg will still go for the water park idea. How much they will/can salvage of this building we will have to see. There might also be long investigations and/or court cases. Anyways, I am sure there will be many years until we finally see a Liseberg water park.
Oh no, that casts this in a completely different light, as slim as the chances may be, I hope he is found dazed and confused somewhere. :/
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Our cellar cooler, which cools a fairly large beer cellar to 12c 24/7, only has a few grams in it. Seriously, it's weighed out from a can the size of a lynx can, so I wonder what the difference is. I'm guessing quite a lot judging from the video if that's a potential cause.
Nah, the bigger commercial/industrial chillers can have tens of kilograms of stuff in them. Dunno anything about the gear in this specific instance, but kit in a place like this (larger hotels, shopping centres, offices, etc) will often me measured in MW of cooling output - not a few tens of kW.

Quite complex question in detail - one for another day - but usually (and if the equipment doesn't come pre-loaded and sealed from the factory) they try to keep the cylinders externally during filling as it's a much easier COSHH/DSEAR/COMAH environment to manage.

My gut feel is either welding gases (possibly including solvent welding type chemicals), or perhaps some sort of backdraft situation within the building. I'm no expert in explosions or fire spread mind - we have people for that. ;)
 

dcxs

Roller Poster
Yeah that's a loss.
View attachment 29812

Absolutely gutted for everyone involved with the project. Injuries are few thankfully.
Note how the whole right side is blown out, but the explosion and start of fire was only located in the left side. In Sweden atleast I dont feel like I have ever seen a fire related explosion just blow up the whole building. Wth happend here
 
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Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Nah, the bigger commercial/industrial chillers can have tens of kilograms of stuff in them. Dunno anything about the gear in this specific instance, but kit in a place like this (larger hotels, shopping centres, offices, etc) will often me measured in MW of cooling output - not a few tens of kW.

Quite complex question in detail - one for another day - but usually (and if the equipment doesn't come pre-loaded and sealed from the factory) they try to keep the cylinders externally during filling as it's a much easier COSHH/DSEAR/COMAH environment to manage.

My gut feel is either welding gases (possibly including solvent welding type chemicals), or perhaps some sort of backdraft situation within the building. I'm no expert in explosions or fire spread mind - we have people for that. ;)
Thanks Hixee.
That's insane. So, every piece of cooling equipment we have needs some sort of welding and regassing every few years, from the HVAC, to the Coca Cola post mix machine, the beer line coolers, the walk in freezer... They all develop leaks in the cooling system over time, and discharge the coolant into the environment, even modern equipment will need some work a few years down the line...

Isn't 10's of KG's of propane leaking in these circumstances little bit dangerous? How is that avoided on massive systems? (I think I'm going to answer my own question here...) Do they keep the evaporator outside and blow the cold air in through those massive silver ducts? Or is the evaporator still indoors, and those ducts are just to split and move the cold air to different areas of the space?

(I know this is off topic, but it's super interesting, and a little less saddening given the latest developments, so I don't care.)
 

VonRolland

Hyper Poster
The list of which, if you're one of the unfortunate goons like me who's had to keep track, is fairly extensive;
Seriously since when is this the norm?
Jesus Christ thats alot
 

FogZog

Roller Poster
Like @Trax, I suspect welding. Not necessarily metal welding, although it could be. But a waterpark also contains all sorts of waterproofing; plastic and fibreglass and sometimes asphalt membranes, that all need to be welded together to form continuous seals. Some of those welds are chemical (glue), but hot air is also often used. That means gas torches. It's fairly easy to start a fire using those - it happens all the time during roofing, when somebody tries to weld a roof membrane directly on flammable insulation. Igniting nearby stuff by accident is quite common too. If that stuff is very flammable, the fire springs up very fast, and you get a "drop everything and run" situation. But that might leave the welding torch behind in the fire, with its sizable gas tank ...

@Efteldingus also mentioned propane, which could be a perpetrator in another way: a water park needs a ton of heat. That tends to mean a really big heat pump, and a beefy HVAC system. And propane is a very common transfer medium in heat pumps. The explosions could be caused by burst propane lines in the HVAC system. They certainly occurred high in a tower, which is where you usually place the exhaust outlet for the ventilation system. I've heard somewhere that it's common in Sweden to recover heat from the ventilation air using a heat exchanger and a heat pump in the ventilation outlet. It seems reasonable that a fire in that location would be quite explosive. Of course, that assumes there was already a fire elsewhere in the building, because it's not easy to start a fire in a closed propane line in an HVAC system.

I think @Hixee might know a lot more about this than I do.
Thanks for that insight. Honestly shocking footage to wake up to. So sad to hear somebody is missing. What a shame for the park, it looked almost complete now this..
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
That's insane. So, every piece of cooling equipment we have needs some sort of welding and regassing every few years, from the HVAC, to the Coca Cola post mix machine, the beer line coolers, the walk in freezer... They all develop leaks in the cooling system over time, and discharge the coolant into the environment, even modern equipment will need some work a few years down the line...
Sort of, but on the commercial systems the refrigerants are required to be drained down and taken for reprocessing. It's fairly typical, but not really a stretch target, for 5% losses over the lifetime of the unit (15yrs is a safe starting bet), with the rest being retained and recycled. These losses are constantly under a lot of pressure as they're a massive factor in whole life carbon assessments.

Isn't 10's of KG's of propane leaking in these circumstances little bit dangerous? How is that avoided on massive systems? (I think I'm going to answer my own question here...) Do they keep the evaporator outside and blow the cold air in through those massive silver ducts? Or is the evaporator still indoors, and those ducts are just to split and move the cold air to different areas of the space?
Exactly that. You try to avoid pumping much refrigerant around buildings - either circuiting the air directly (this is fairly space inefficient on the scales we're talking now) or circulating chilled water that you later blow air over in local units. The large full refrigerant systems do have a place, but you're heading into special use cases which are far outside this thread.

Historically, larger refrigerant systems ran on more non-flammable substances and it was the toxicity that was the issue (R134a, R410a, ammonia, etc), however many of these had very bad GWP figures, so are slowly being replaced with more eco-friendly chemicals (R32 [propane], R1234ze, etc). The drawback is that these newer substances generally have poorer flammability performance.

The choice of refrigerant in any given system is a complex function of load, part-load, internal and external environments, efficiency, flammability, toxicity, GWP, embodied carbon, density, the list goes on. The control measures you put in place - sensors, alarms, ventilation, etc, all then come off the back of that (EN378 is one of the commonly referenced documents that attempts to set out some 'workflows' for determining the mitigation measures).

In my wheelhouse now, could talk for days about this.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Sort of, but on the commercial systems the refrigerants are required to be drained down and taken for reprocessing. It's fairly typical, but not really a stretch target, for 5% losses over the lifetime of the unit (15yrs is a safe starting bet), with the rest being retained and recycled. These losses are constantly under a lot of pressure as they're a massive factor in whole life carbon assessments.


Exactly that. You try to avoid pumping much refrigerant around buildings - either circuiting the air directly (this is fairly space inefficient on the scales we're talking now) or circulating chilled water that you later blow air over in local units. The large full refrigerant systems do have a place, but you're heading into special use cases which are far outside this thread.

Historically, larger refrigerant systems ran on more non-flammable substances and it was the toxicity that was the issue (R134a, R410a, ammonia, etc), however many of these had very bad GWP figures, so are slowly being replaced with more eco-friendly chemicals (R32 [propane], R1234ze, etc). The drawback is that these newer substances generally have poorer flammability performance.

The choice of refrigerant in any given system is a complex function of load, part-load, internal and external environments, efficiency, flammability, toxicity, GWP, embodied carbon, density, the list goes on. The control measures you put in place - sensors, alarms, ventilation, etc, all then come off the back of that (EN378 is one of the commonly referenced documents that attempts to set out some 'workflows' for determining the mitigation measures).

In my wheelhouse now, could talk for days about this.
Thanks for the explanation, really appreciate it.

I've just watched the video again, originally I thought the explosion started at the top of the slide tower, but if you look closer, it actually appears to start outside at ground level behind the slides, move up somehow, and then back down the big slides nearest front of shot. It's actually pretty crazy to get to see something like this unfold in such detail.

In this video you see what looks like the beginnings of a small explosion at the base of the fire, ground level behind the slides / structure... Then you see a large flash / explosion reflected in the windows on the right occur, milliseconds before, what I'd originally thought was the main blast, at the top of the tower.

This thing used those slides to get around extremely quickly... Has to be gas right?

 

Dar

Hyper Poster
I hadn't seen the clip at 0:44 in that video! Was that part of the main explosion, or was it another mini-belch of flammable gases? (also, where was that filmed from? Liseberg offices?)

A fire... at a Seaparks?
"That is a bit weird, isn't it?"
 

Efteldingus

Mega Poster
In this video you see what looks like the beginnings of a small explosion at the base of the fire, ground level behind the slides / structure... Then you see a large flash / explosion reflected in the windows on the right occur, milliseconds before, what I'd originally thought was the main blast, at the top of the tower.
Good spot on the reflection, it does indeed look like the top of the tower wasn't the starting point of that big explosion. Insane to see such a chain of rapid explosions race around a building like that, and turn it into an inferno in just a few seconds. Hope that one worker somehow gets found... :(
 

chainedbanana

Hyper Poster
Jesus Christ thats alot
The list of which, if you're one of the unfortunate goons like me who's had to keep track, is fairly extensive;
Seriously since when is this the norm?

I wonder if a big issue is global austerity leading to understaffing - leading to less maintenance, less checks, less often and building hardware & equipment reaching the end of there userful lives. Even new situations like the waterpark - understaffing could lead to less people doing more work, less vigilance, more likely for accidents to happen.
 
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