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There are a lot of people that don't think its possible for a cell phone to ignite gasoline, even the Mythbusters tested this, they said it wasn't possible.



Here's a surveillance tape from a convenience store, it's a gas tanker, guy goes up on top, opens the hatch, then you see him reach into his pocket for his cell phone ringing, then he answers the incoming call....BOOM!



http://www.break.com/index/gas-truck-ignites-at-station.html
 

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I would say that this was not caused by the cell phone, but rather the static electricity created by him reaching in his pocket to get it and then touching the metal on the tanker. Just a guess. I would also say that a cell phone could cause ignition if it were dropped and caused a spark.
 

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You bet'cha a cell phone, flashlight or anything electric can cause a spark and WILL ignite gasoline. Question comes down to what is the probability and what has to happen for an event? Any combination of fuel, air, and ignition source in the right mixture and you have a fire.
 

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The Myth Busters did this one, myth BUSTED...
 

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agree with gring it's Static and it takes 3,000 volts to feel the smallest bang and definitely not from cell phones. To produce them one can rub two objects together (particularly synthetic clothing like nylon and polyester) causing friction. If they are made of different materials, and both are insulators, electrons may be transferred from one to the other. then you have a charge-imbalance on your body . You will get zapped the next time you touch anything metal a petrol truck in this case. kaboom!!!
 

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I agree that the reason for the boom is something sparking, but it probably wasn't coming from the cell phone. That said, cell phones aren't intrinsically safe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrinsically_safe), thus can spark, and cause a boom.



In this situation however it is more reasonable to assume fibers from his clothing caused the static discharge. The overall he wears is probably made of safe material, but whatever clothing he wore underneath it probably wasn't.



Flammable liquids are flammable only because the vapors they produce. Gasoline vapors rise to the top (are lighter then 'air'). If the tank operator was operating a relief valve for some reason, to allow for easy pumping of the sub terrain gas station tanks, it could very well have been the source fuel for the ignition.



It looks like he survived it, which really surprises me.
 

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gring said:
I would say that this was not caused by the cell phone, but rather the static electricity created by him reaching in his pocket to get it and then touching the metal on the tanker. Just a guess. I would also say that a cell phone could cause ignition if it were dropped and caused a spark.


+1 that is why this happens a lot in the winter. People get out of their car, start to fill the car with gas and then get back in their car causing static electricity to build on the person rubbing the fabric and their hands together to warm back up. They get back out of the car and go right to removing the hose without grounding themselves first. BOOM.
 

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The cell phone was in his left hand. You can see him react to the spark from his right hand if you go frame by frame. Either that phone was generating enough stray electricity to arc through his arms, across his chest, and to spark on the other side, or static caused the spark.



MI_Jester
 

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I agree that it probably was static electricity...the myth busters are always right. Aren't they? :roll: Either way that guy had a really bad day.
 

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jediihaf said:
gring said:
+1 that is why this happens a lot in the winter. People get out of their car, start to fill the car with gas and then get back in their car causing static electricity to build on the person rubbing the fabric and their hands together to warm back up. They get back out of the car and go right to removing the hose without grounding themselves first. BOOM.


It more of a problem in the winter due to the drier air creating more static build up on your clothes.







While it is nearly impossible for a cell phone to ignite vapors, it may happen... Just look up what Class I Division I electronics are
 
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