Originally Posted by Ghoxt
They are talking about LN2. Our LN2. Yikes.
I didn't see Nitrogen "Gas only" mentioned in the article. Only speculation that a valve might have been opened by one of the workers by mistake.
In our terms we are talking "potentially" the same LN2 Overclockers use. I cannot even imagine the scene where LN2 came in contact with 7 people and two dying. That means it was all over. For you that Cryo your benches..., for 2 people to be killed and 5 others hospitalized, one still in critical condition. What the hell could have happened?
It's a factory so who knows if it was a large canister of LN2 that leaked or got into the air or a pressurized valve. Either case it sucks.
If you leak liquid nitrogen, it very rapidly turns into gas. That gas then displaces the oxygen in the room starting with the floor and works its way up. By the time you realize something's wrong, you're a few seconds away from passing out, and unless someone manages to cycle the entire room in time you're pretty much done.
The quantity of LN2 matters, though. You open a valve in a fabrication plant, you could have a very large release. The amount of it most overclockers use is simply not enough to cause a problem.
I suspect that it wasn't liquid nitrogen, though. They don't have a reason to use cryogenics during TV fabrication. They do, however, have very good reasons to use pressurized dry nitrogen gas in an environment sensitive to ESD. It's used in cleaning procedures as a pressurized gas source that doesn't have water in it or other contaminants. Open one of the even relatively small 6' tall tanks you'd strap to a wall, and you can easily get enough of a release to cause the situation described in the article.
Pressurized gas tanks are not to be trifled with. There are a lot of ways they can kill you if handled improperly.