Blast leaves worker in serious condition

Authorities are investigating what caused a tank used for scuba diving to explode as a worker filled it at a Drumcondra learn-to-dive business.

The condition of a dive store worker has worsened in hospital, a day after he was seriously injured when a scuba tank exploded as it was filled at Drumcondra.

The male worker, aged in his 30s, was left with serious lower body injuries after the explosion, which blew out windows and left glass strewn across the street, at the learn to dive shop Australian Diving Instruction.

The Geelong Advertiser understands the tank was hooked up to a compressor and was being filled with air and nitrogen when it exploded at the Melbourne Rd business about 5:15pm on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the man was in a serious condition in the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Worksafe investigators and inspectors are now probing the incident after they went to the business on Wednesday evening.

The Geelong Advertiser understands WorkSafe will assess how the tank was filled, what was being used to fill the tank and what training the worker received to complete the task.

Australian standards for the use of scuba tanks and other cylinders which hold gas stipulate tanks need to be fitted with an automatic fill limiter which is a valve that automatically shuts off filling when a predetermined level in the cylinder is reached.

WorkSafe will assess work practices at Australian Diving Instruction against Australian standards and will assess if any breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act occurred.

Australian Diving Instruction founder Stephen Mabbett confirmed the incident and said he had “no further details.”

“We can confirm that there was an incident on our premises late yesterday afternoon the details of which are yet unknown,” Mr Mabbett said in a statement.

“We are in contact with the injured party and their family and providing every support we can.

“We have no further details but are working closely with investigators as they review the incident.”

Mr Mabbett did not respond to questions including the circumstances that led to the explosion;

what the injured man was doing when the tank exploded; or if the man was trained to fill the tank.

On Thursday afternoon a Royal Melbourne Hospital spokeswoman said the man involved in the incident was in serious condition.

Mr Mabbett and Kathleen Mabbett founded Australian Diving Instruction in 1986.

“Australian Diving Instruction is a club that became a store, not a store that has a club there is a huge difference,” its website reads.

Australian Diving Instruction’s website lists 17 staff including divemasters and instructors.

Mr Mabbett has trained divers in Geelong and overseas for more than 34 years.

Source: Herald Sun

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