Boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE)

Is the condition that happens suddenly when a tank containing pressurized liquefied hydrocarbons or other liquefied gas, produces an explosive effect due to its contact with fire or impact. The liquid in the tank rapidly absorbs the energy from the surrounding atmosphere which increases the vaporization rate. When this pressure exceeds the safety limits of the tank, failure occurs and causes a massive explosion. This phenomenon may result in fireballs, blasts, projectiles and possible toxic clouds, or vapor cloud explosions.
Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion occurs due to a contained liquid being heated externally above its boiling point at atmospheric pressure. Once a crack in the containment allows the superheated liquid to depressurize it starts suddenly to flash vaporize producing much gas rupturing the vessel and producing a blast and maybe fragments. As many liquids are flammable a BLEVE may result in a rising flame ball with a very high surface emitting power. Radiant heat damage in that case is over a larger area than the that by blast. However non-flammable liquids can also BLEVE. Water in a steam vessel is a notorious example with many associated fatalities.
Science/Flammability/Explosions/Physical Explosion