There was an explosion in a FedEx office this morning (Wednesday, April 14) here in San Diego, maybe four miles from where I live. Apparently a box with some kind of lithium batteries in it, went bang. No one was hurt.
First I heard of it was an announcement on the local station (KOGO 600 AM), which said that a "Lithium Ion" battery had exploded. I looked into several other reports, all of which simply said it was a "Lithium battery". I called the station and asked if they knew for sure it was a "Lithium Ion" battery, and told them the differences between "Lithium Ion" and "Lithium Polymer". Told them I use the former in e-bikes, mostly because they are the SAFE version of lithium batteries that don't explode, while occasionally LiPoly batteries do. Asked them not to call it a "Lithium Ion" battery unless they knew for sure that's what it was.
I have a hunch it was a LiPo - we all know how unstable those can be. Hopefully they will take my advice, but who am I.
I still haven't seen any reports of this explosion that calls it one way or the other, except for KOGO's verbal report.
Can some of you folks give the station a call, and ask them to verify exactly what kind of battery it was? Lithium-Ion (aka LiFePO4) or Lithium-polymer? And point out to them the differences in safety between the two?
KOGO's News Tip line is 858-560-6671. Their call-in listener line is 800-600-5646.
All we need is for shipping services to ban "Lithium batteries". I wouldn't blame them for banning LiPo's, they can be dangerous, though explosions like this are rare. But we use Lithium-Ion batteries because they are the safe ones, that DON'T explode!
Another report can be read at http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2...xpress-office/
Some of the text:
Battery explosion at FedEx building triggers evacuation
By Debbi Baker, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
A lithium battery exploded in a package at a Federal Express office in Sorrento Valley early Wednesday morning. No injuries were reported.
Employees had just finished sorting the box in the facility on Olson Drive and were about six feet away when it exploded in a flash shortly after 6 a.m., San Diego police Lt. Dan Christman said.
Workers said the explosion left a smell like gunpowder in the air, Christman said. Batteries and wires could be seen inside the box.
Fire, hazardous materials and police were investigating the site after the 6:13 a.m. call. Employees were evacuated from the building and the adjacent street was shut down.
No FedEx employees have reported experiencing side effects from the explosion.