View Full Version : Vacuum cleaner causes submarine fire

7th Jun 2012, 16:27
Vacuum cleaner blamed for fire on nuclear submarine - CNN.com (http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/06/us/submarine-fire/index.html?hpt=hp_t3)

7th Jun 2012, 16:35
Yes, I read that and couldn't believe what I was reading. A $40 Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner causing a fire on a multi-billion dollar nuclear sub. How ironic is that?!!!!!

Milo Minderbinder
7th Jun 2012, 16:50
It would be quite understandable if the vacuum was used to vacuum up some hot welding residue and it ignited the dustbag....
I'm not suggesting thats what happened here, but I have seen that happen in a domestic environment (in a permanent caravan - a trailer home to you USA types)
Actually what I saw was the dustbag go up - it had been removed from the vacuum and placed in a bin after the owner had sucked up the residue from soldering copper water pipes, but the same could happen inside the vacuum cleaner. The fire broke out around an hour after the owner had finished his work, tidied up and left - presumably it had been smouldering unnoticed
The fire made quite a mess of the caravan - in a very short time access became impossible without a BA due to the flames and smoke. Happily the caravan proved to be empty. Anyone inside would probably not have survived.

7th Jun 2012, 16:59
I wonder what sort of 'residue' a lonely 18 year old rating on his first long deployment away from home would leave in said vacuum cleaner :E Did they find a body next to it?

7th Jun 2012, 17:00
More likely that the vacuum was made in china using a easy replacable tissue paper bag with the instructions written in badly broken english.

7th Jun 2012, 17:01
That sucks

7th Jun 2012, 20:01
Original post deleted!

Edit: I stand corrected! I (mis)understood that the sub' was under crew control and have retracted my remarks.

Apologies to the USN crew.

7th Jun 2012, 20:24
Not quite, I don't think, Heli. The boat was in dry-dock so it would have been shipyard workers, not the crew.

That's no excuse for that kind of accident, mind you.

7th Jun 2012, 20:34
Very trust inspiring.

7th Jun 2012, 20:38
How is this "trust inspiring"? The submarine in question (USS Miami) is in dry-dock, it's nuclear power plants are turned off, and have been for 2 months, and is undergoing routine maintenance. (It is into its' 3rd month of 20 months of scheduled maintenance.) It also has no Naval crew.

Just because some peon of a dock worker (civilian) caused the fire doesn't mean the crew, which isn't on board anyway, should share in the blame as they had absolutely nothing to do with it, for obvious reasons.

7th Jun 2012, 21:39
An old sailor caught in the smoke later said to a reporter: "I really thought I was going to die, son".

7th Jun 2012, 21:51
I wonder how many people posting here have ever seen a vacuum cleaner fire ? For whatever reason (like cleaning around the stove the morning after you've had a woodfire and accidently sucking up a tiny hot coal) as the dust bag ignites (cloth in our case) the cleaner becomes a flame spitting monster looking like an Olympus 593 with reheat on. Anything combustable near the vacuum cleaner outlet is going to go up in smoke very quickly.

7th Jun 2012, 22:26
Many years ago (at least 45) a colleague was restoring old MGs.
He had one with a leaking petrol tank, which needed brazing.

My mate knew that petrol vapour was potentially explosive, so he reckoned he would suck out all the vapour using his mother's Electrolux cylinder vacuum cleaner.

When the petrol vapour reached the brushes in the electric motor, the vacuum cleaner became 'jet propelled' and, indeed, explumdeered.

He had to buy his mother a new vacuum cleaner.

Lon More
7th Jun 2012, 22:33
Imagine what they could have done with it at Rosyth. Bits would be decorating scrappies from Peterhead to Portsmouth

Shell Management
7th Jun 2012, 22:36
Time to ship a few to Iran - who needs Stuxnet.