Catapult finding for the accident in Tempe – 2024-03-03 18:20:15

by times news cr

2024-03-03 18:20:15

“Our legislation is complete. It accurately predicts in every situation what we should do and what we should not do. Here we did what we shouldn’t have done.” This is what Vassilis Kokotsakis, the specialist expert on fires, who was appointed as Technical Advisor to the Association of Families of Tempo Accident Victims and is the man who drew up the report that mentioned the existence of explosive substances, which resulted from the analysis by the State General Chemistry on personal belongings of some victims.

With his final technical report, which was delivered on Thursday to the investigative authorities of Larissa, in order to be used and also to be incorporated into the relevant case file, he comes to confirm once again that the alteration of the space with the “bashing” and disorderly transportation materials from the scene of the tragedy, may even have irreversible results for the verification of the truth.

The report shows, among other things, that what remained of the three container wagons of the freight train, which were found in the eye of the “pyrosphere” cyclone, which he describes in detail and could provide important information, were never marked and cannot to be identified. “In Koulouri, there are those that were left in a disorderly manner, exposed to the weather, to the floods of Daniel,” says Mr. Kokotsakis, adding that no one took care to mark them. As a result, sheets stacked on top of each other could not be matched with wagons.

Through the technique of his exhibition, he tries to shed light on what was not done: “A key element of the investigation is also its obstruction. Failure to take the necessary steps to safeguard the investigation, which normally begins from the time of the incident until the time it is completed. If we were to rate on a scale of 1 to 10, we would say that we are already at 11. We now have little if any chance of reliably sampling the sites. That is why it is crucial to further analyze the personal belongings of the victims, which were properly preserved by the Traffic Police.”

Mr. Kokotsakis adds that there are laboratories abroad that can simulate and analyze the samples, since there they consider it self-evident in a tragedy with 57 victims to strictly follow the protocol.

As for the filling of the site, the technical report is a catapult: “The site was “contaminated” because in addition to the absolutely necessary arrangement work for operational reasons that had to be carried out, it was also altered since a sufficient area of ​​approximately 2 hectares was filled with portable materials such as gravel and concrete.

Mainly, however, the point where parts (debris) of the passenger train had fallen, but also waste or combustion residues carried away by the fire-fighting water, but perhaps also human biological material, was filled in a diligent and permanent way, i.e. removal of the soil to a sufficient depth, thickening it with coarse soaked quarry gravel and covering it with concrete also of sufficient thickness.

This action makes it difficult, if not impossible, to conduct research at that point and, above all, to obtain samples that might help to shed light on several of the research questions,” the report states.

The difficulties in research
A large part of the technical report covers the difficulties that were faced mainly from the assembling of the space. It is specifically mentioned that it is critical to keep the space unchanged as it was shaped by the event, since all materials found in this space (organic and inorganic) are considered persuasive.

Even interventions due to force majeure must follow a specific protocol. That is, the area should be mapped, the movable materials should be marked, photographed and recorded and these actions should be videotaped.

However, in the case of Tempe, in addition to the “contamination of the space”, it was found that:

Persuasive objects (debris, soil) removed from the scene had to be preserved and protected both from the weather and from any attempt to tamper with or remove them, measures that were not taken to the extent that would have ensured the timely – safe and indisputable research on them and the preservation of any remains – elements that would help for this.
The way and the choice of the areas from which the samples were taken for chemical analysis is methodologically incorrect, because most of the samples were taken from the northern retaining wall and not from the area where the burning – explosion took place. (They were probably not taken, because the site had been landscaped and altered and there was also a time delay in taking samples, which now made the samples unsafe and not representative.
Sheet metal samples with soot were not taken in time from the commercial containers, passenger canteen, which proved to be involved in the pyrosphere phenomenon, for analysis and identification of combustion materials.
The expert’s suggestions
With the aim of establishing the cause of the explosion – fire and its involvement in the death of some victims, the technical report closes with specific proposals, which are as follows:

1. Further investigation – analysis by the appointed experts and proof with actual technical evidence of the participation of silicone oil, in the created “explosion”, which refer to this matter, completely fragmentarily, without any interpretation or substantial explanation. Simulations of the ignition of silicone oil are proposed in conjunction with filming with simple thermal cameras, which will allow the gases produced by the combustion of the oil to be detected and thus ascertain whether the theory of the appointed experts that the silicone oil was present as only fuel in the accident area.

In addition, if the same security cameras as those that recorded the accident are used in the above experiment, it will be possible to compare the colors recorded by the cameras with those produced during the burning of silicone oil.

At the same time, the same experiment must be done with the other fuels and explosive mixtures detected to compare the visual result of the recordings of the experimental explosions.

Taking more samples for examination both from the ground and mainly under the filled section or the removed soils (if any), and from the wagons of the commercial train that were proven to have caught fire.
Taking samples and analysis, from the walls of the canteen car, because both in it and in the commercial train (container platforms) there may be soot, whose analysis through mass spectrography may give us an image, materials and way in which they burned.
Taking samples from the sheet metal of the containers that were loaded on the first three commercial wagons and analyzing the soot found in them (if still present).
Search in the trade of clothing – footwear similar to those registered as personal belongings of the victims, sending to special laboratories. There, after being reduced to similar conditions, to investigate whether they liberate benzene, xylene, toluene and other solvents like those found in the analyzes of the State Chemistry.
For the above measurements, the original video or any recorded material, as well as the other proofs, should be sent to a specialized domestic or foreign laboratory, which can perform material analyses, fireproof certifications, simulations with experimental combustions – explosions, etc. and which can indisputably give an answer to the material and the conditions of creation of the bleve effect (pyrosphere).
To this end, it is a good idea to take a sample from the security camera (which filmed the incident) in daytime conditions, to see how the wagons would look in natural light.
Explosives and firefighter burns
At another point in the report, Mr. Kokotsakis returns to the issue of the explosive substances that were detected. He points out that the temperature in the case of Tempe exceeded 600 degrees. It mentions the materials, substances, compounds, etc. which have an explosive behavior when mixed with air and among others are:

Organic solvents and fuels (benzene, xylene, toluene, hexane, pentane, heptane, etc.)
Liquid gases (butane, propane, ethane, etc.)
“All the above fuels, materials and organic solvents, chemical compounds and much more, were found and analyzed in most of the samples of the State General Chemistry and of which the presence of a small relatively “clean” amount and suitable conditions is sufficient (as in the case of Tempe) to have explosive behavior”.

In the report, it is emphasized once again that “in no way (silicone oil in any form) exhibits such behaviors, nor when mixed with air, can it create an explosive mixture with such momentum and speed.”

In fact, there is a correlation with the proven injury of 4 firefighters of the firefighting team, whose medical opinion states that they suffered “chemical burns” of various degrees, without the firefighters coming into contact with direct flames, but possibly with extinguishing residues (water brought from these materials) and which penetrated their uniform and caused them such injury.

“Chemical burns are not consistent with contact with silicone oil in any form, because neither it nor its derivatives have negative effects on human skin (no such incident has been reported worldwide), on the contrary, these chemical burns are consistent with contact with substances such as organic solvents which are highly toxic. Such solvents have been detected in the samples taken, (benzene, xylene, toluene, etc.)’.

Source: Ethnos

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