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Oct 19, 2012

Butane and dive tanks getting old, U.S. firm says there is a way to prevent disaster

When a veteran diver was killed at Amigos del Mar in San Pedro Town while refueling an oxygen tank, it was an instant tragedy and many wondered if it could have been avoided.  Hector Duran’s death affected the lives of his colleagues and raised concerns about the lifespan of dive tanks as well as butane tanks used across the country. A couple of businessmen in California who heard of the San Pedro incident called News Five to say that there is technology that can be used to detect cracks, folds or other similar imperfections in cylinders. According to Mark Olguin, appropriating equipment such as a Visual Plus System can save lives.


Via phone: Mark Olguin, President, Advanced Inspection Technology 

“AIT supplies testing and inspection of equipment to help inspectors detect potentially dangerous cylinders and flaws in high pressure gas cylinder. We’ve been about for aobut fifteen years, since the beginning of 1998. We started really in the dive industry and we’re progressed through the other industries. We probably have about forty-five hundred of our units in service around the world that takes cylinders out of service before they get to the point of explosion like the one that unfortunately happened in Belize.”


Jose Sanchez

Steve Hindman

“Now tell me if you can a little about the equipment that you do use and how a tragedy can be avoided in the future?”


Via Phone: Steve Hindman, Director of Sales, Advanced Inspection Technology

“What we do is our equipment uses any current technology to detect cracks, flaws and we also have pitting equipment as well. What that does is it allows inspectors to catch dangerous cylinders before they ever get to the fill process. So we found here in the U.S. that the failure rate with our equipment has gone up from one to seven percent, which means we are taking out a lot of dangerous cylinders and if they don’t get to the fill centers, then those types of ruptures can be avoided.”


Jose Sanchez

“Is this something costly?”


Mark Olguin

Via Phone: Mark Olguin

“Relatively no. if you look at the things that have happened; you’re looking at fourteen hundred to fifteen hundred U.S.”


Jose Sanchez

“And the equipment itself; how long would it last? Is it something that’s durable?”


Via Phone: Steve Hindman

“It would last for years—thousands and thousands of tests.”


Via Phone: Mark Olguin

“There is a probe that eventually would have to be replaced because it is a moving part; but the unit itself would last pretty much indefinitely. It does call for a service.”


Via Phone: Steve Hindman

With proper inspection techniques and education, these incidences will never happen. Quite honestly, they’ll never get to the fill plant; they will never get to hydro because they will be taken out at the time of the visual inspection.”


Olguin says more information about Advanced Inspection Technology can be found at their website at

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Butane and dive tanks getting old, U.S. firm says there is a way to prevent disaster”

  1. Ah Mi Tell Unu! says:

    Change the Law so that it is mandatory for cylinders to be tested and
    certified by the Bureau of Standards before the next butane or diving tank
    accident occurs….and noh seh Ah Neveh Tell Unu!

  2. Orange Walk observer says:

    The technology that this guy is talking about is already in Belize being used for several years now by one of the local Airlines. Let me point put first that from the beginning, those tanks should have a difinitive life limit. The life limit is set by the manufacture at a safe point before the critical point; and before the limit is reached there are designated inspections and one of those inspections is the one that this guy is talking about.
    This is Non-destructive testing wherby current is applied to tha item being tested and the flow is displayed on a small monitor. If there is any abnormal flow or brake of electricity, that would indicate that something is wrong with that specific area. This testing entails a lot more that can be explained on this blog; this system has been or is being used to test oil pipelines, nuclear facilities, aircraft components and any metal component of critical use.
    The cost of the test equipment is much higher than mentioned and has to be calibrated annually; training is expensive and the operator has to get recurrent training every 3 years. Belize has personnel that are trained to use this equipment but sincerely are not being used by industry. Every additional test will have an extra cost but in order to save life, it should be embraced fully!

  3. mustard stand says:

    I have seen this method and it works. I would say places in Belize needs this equipment

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