Encyclopedia Astronautica
1972.05.07 - Tank cart defueling the Apollo 16 command module exploded


A tank cart at the San Diego Naval Air Station, defueling the Apollo 16 command module after its April 27 return from its mission to the moon, exploded because of overpressurization.

Forty-six persons suspected of inhaling of toxic fumes, were hospitalized, but examination revealed no symptoms of inhalation. An Apollo 16 Deactivation Investigation Board completed its report on the accident June 30. The ratio of neutralizer to oxidizer being detanked had been too low because of the extra oxidizer retained in the CM tanks as a result of the Apollo 15 parachute anomaly. Changes were made in ground support equipment and detanking procedure to prevent future overpressurization.

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