Special Ops Paintball: flying air tank kills - Special Ops Paintball

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flying air tank kills

#1 User is offline   commander mike 

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 08:09 PM

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Originally Posted by New York Times 10/5/07
Paintball Accident Made Him a Widower, and Then a Crusader

After their son asked for a day at a Northern California paintball park for his 10th birthday, Mark and Colette Contois did their homework, questioning friends and searching the Internet before deciding that with the proper equipment, the sport was safe.

The Contoises did not come across any information about a hazard they would encounter that afternoon in 2004. A 14-year-old player inadvertently detached a valve, launching his gun’s carbon-dioxide-filled cylinder as an unguided missile. It struck Ms. Contois, who was watching from a picnic area off the field, in the back of the head. She never regained consciousness, and died at the scene.

Her husband soon discovered that only months before, a similar accident had killed a 15-year-old boy in Washington State. Then he learned that manufacturers had known of the potential danger from the valve-and-cylinder combination since 1990. Mr. Contois (pronounced con-TOYZ) undertook a campaign to improve safety awareness about a sport he has never played, and for which no national statistics on deaths or injuries are maintained.

One of the fastest-growing sports worldwide, paintball is far safer now than in its early days, the late 1970s. But it remains a combat-style game often played unsupervised in backyards or rural spaces, sometimes by children younger than 10. And despite industry efforts to improve equipment, older, far more dangerous guns and parts remain in use, a problem that Mr. Contois says the companies have done too little to warn about.

“It’s a travesty that the industry has known about this problem,” he said.
Mr. Contois, 44, won $8 million from manufacturers and distributors of the valve and cylinder that killed his wife. But the most important part of his settlement with them, he says, was an agreement by the chief defendant, National Paintball Supply, to publicize warnings about the danger of older valves.

Mr. Contois, from the Sacramento-area community of Cameron Park, and his lawyer, Peter Hinton, contend that KEE Action Sports, the successor to National Paintball Supply, inherited the obligation to warn consumers. In a complaint to be filed today in Contra Costa County Superior Court, they say KEE has not lived up to the terms of the settlement because it has failed to post warnings on its Web site and elsewhere. Citing the litigation, KEE executives would not respond to questions.

Paintball was started in the late 1970s by two friends in the woods near Henniker, N.H., who held a duel using dye-capsule pistols developed for foresters to mark trees for cutting.

Since then, masks and protective vests and gloves have sharply reduced eye injuries and bruises. In addition, closer supervision has been imposed at paintball parks, where rules governing distances between shooters and targets have also helped to curtail serious injuries.

Still, paintball players must continue to unscrew their guns’ compressed-gas cylinders for recharge during play and at the end of the day. The valve design that proved deadly in the Contois case can loosen on the side that keeps gas under pressure in the cylinder. A player can then unwittingly release the valve, turning a charged cylinder into a dangerous rocket.
The problem is compounded by young paintballers’ frequent modification of carbon-dioxide-powered guns, in which a part called an antisiphon device is added to prevent jamming and increase the weapons’ performance. One such modification had been made to the gun whose cylinder killed Ms. Contois.
Rather than carbon dioxide, many guns now use compressed air. Because an antisiphon device has no role to play in these guns, they do not inspire modification, though their cylinders too can cause accidents.

While manufacturers have designed better valves since Ms. Contois’s death, by all accounts hundreds of thousands of the older ones are still used by paintballers. “There’s no way to reach them, because we don’t know who they are,” said J. J. Brookshire, chairman of the paintball subcommittee of ASTM International, a group that sets voluntary standards for a wide variety of products and services.

Mr. Brookshire said that the industry had improved consumer information about this and other safety issues and that technicians at the centers where paintballers must go to refill cylinders are trained to spot loose valves or those of old design. Further, standard 20-ounce carbon-dioxide cylinders must be refurbished or replaced every five years, a timetable that will eventually eliminate the old valves.

Yet any canister under pressure can be dangerous. “This is certainly the most dangerous hazard” for paintballers, said Scott J. Wolfson, a spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. After accidents that were caused by a faulty valve mechanism different from the one in Ms. Contois’s death, Brass Eagle Inc. of Bentonville, Ark., recalled 243,000 of its paintball guns. Those guns, safety commission officials said, had been responsible for at least 73 accidental gas-cartridge ejections, in which seven people were injured.

More than 10 million people play paintball in the United States, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. “Every weekend there’s millions of cylinders being screwed in and screwed out” without incident, Mr. Brookshire noted.

But sticking to rules does not always come easily to young paintballers. The alteration to the cylinder that killed Ms. Contois is cheap, with do-it-yourself instructions on many Web sites. But it requires removing and replacing the valve, and unless done correctly, this can allow a valve to work loose over time. The dangers are rarely discussed in safety information given to paintballers.

The industry has not adopted a wide-ranging standard for such information, though doing so has been under discussion since a 1990 accident at a paintball park in Corona, Calif., in which Eric Hewitt, then 19, suffered a broken jaw and the loss of six teeth that could not be replaced. Mr. Hewitt, who still bears a scar, says his face is often numb or painful, and people notice the missing teeth.

“They kind of look at me funny,” he said, “and then they ask.”
He never played paintball again.

Nor did Jeff Weaver, the owner of the park where Ms. Contois was killed. After her death, Mr. Weaver built enclosed stations where trained workers removed and replaced cylinders for players. And when one manufacturer began marketing a valve that would safely discharge gas before detaching from the cylinder, Mr. Weaver gave $10 rebates to paintballers who traded in their old equipment.

But the best cylinders, he thinks, would be tamperproof, preventing young paintballers from modifying their guns. “You’re dealing with people who are getting on the Internet,” he said, “and they’re saying, ‘Hey, man, I want to make modifications to my stuff.’”

Mr. Weaver closed his park six months after the accident and now works as a carpenter.

“I pretty much lost heart for the whole thing,” he said.
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#2 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 08:12 PM

Read this article on pbnation.

Its a really good.

Peace,
Teddy K
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#3 User is offline   ronin58 

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 06:28 PM

bump, probaly should'nt but its a good read and nothing wrong with knowledge.

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#4 User is offline   Puzuma 

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 06:38 PM

Late 1970s? I guess 1981 is as late 70s as it gets.

Other than that it's a sad, but excellent, reminder to check your valves. Use a dab of nail polish and mark from the valve to the tank so you have an easy to see reference if the valve is disengaging.
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#5 User is offline   Zach_attack 

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 09:23 PM

Flying air tanks dont kill people, internal bleeding and concussions kill people.

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#6 User is offline   ronin58 

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 09:29 PM

View PostZach_attack, on Oct 13 2007, 09:23 PM, said:

Flying air tanks dont kill people, internal bleeding and concussions kill people.



Not funny or cool. :evil:

This is a serious matter, its one more thing that can make our sport look bad, yes accidents happen, but prevention always helps.

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#7 User is offline   DvS21 

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 09:31 PM

View PostPuzuma, on Oct 13 2007, 09:38 PM, said:

Late 1970s? I guess 1981 is as late 70s as it gets.

Other than that it's a sad, but excellent, reminder to check your valves. Use a dab of nail polish and mark from the valve to the tank so you have an easy to see reference if the valve is disengaging.

I saved a guy's life the other day I was playing. He had a spyder and was unscrewing the CO2 tank, was having a hard time and I had heard a leak. I was talking to an experienced player and then I heard a real leak start like hissing. I looked more closely and I saw brass threads. I proceeded to yell STOP and I got the player's attention. The other experienced player and I ran over than grabbed the gun from him and we ran outside and put it in a deserted area outside of the safe zone, to let the tank drain. After the leak stopped, and we waited a few minutes we took the tank off the gun and to the proshop. If it wern't for myself and this other player the guy would have been dead. He had the gun between his legs and the tank pointed towards his face while he was unscrewing it. Bam. If that tank went a thread further he was dead...


People we do need to go here. The danger is very real. I want everyone on AO (I know you guys are experienced and responsible players) to MAKE SURE that you keep your eyes on newbies with this stuff. It's no joke. Thank you for bringing this up and making sure that people know.

I posted this on AO but the danger is very real today. the article said 2004. please guys be safe and watch out.


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#8 User is offline   ks~gunner 

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:37 PM

View PostPuzuma, on Oct 13 2007, 06:38 PM, said:

Late 1970s? I guess 1981 is as late 70s as it gets.

Other than that it's a sad, but excellent, reminder to check your valves. Use a dab of nail polish and mark from the valve to the tank so you have an easy to see reference if the valve is disengaging.


The article said 2004.

But this is a very dangerous thing that can happen so keep your eyes out and try to prevent these types of accidents from happening.
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#9 User is offline   Jackson 

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:43 PM

View Postks~gunner, on Oct 16 2007, 06:37 PM, said:

View PostPuzuma, on Oct 13 2007, 06:38 PM, said:

Late 1970s? I guess 1981 is as late 70s as it gets.

Other than that it's a sad, but excellent, reminder to check your valves. Use a dab of nail polish and mark from the valve to the tank so you have an easy to see reference if the valve is disengaging.


The article said 2004.

But this is a very dangerous thing that can happen so keep your eyes out and try to prevent these types of accidents from happening.

No the article says paintball started in the late 70's which it didn't.
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#10 User is offline   ks~gunner 

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:45 PM

I was talking about when this happend and when it was published.
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#11 User is offline   Jackson 

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:47 PM

View Postks~gunner, on Oct 16 2007, 06:45 PM, said:

I was talking about when this happend and when it was published.

I know. Puzuma was talking about the inaccuracy in the article. I was clarifying because it appears you didn't catch on.
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#12 User is offline   Paintsoldier 

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 04:04 PM

Very good article, however I do not apprecitate the use of "weapon", "combat-style game", and "pistols". But, I am very sorry fo their lose.
a.k.a. old_school_player (techpb), paintsoldier (MCB), paintsoldier8 (PbN)
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#13 User is offline   oerllikon 

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 07:48 PM

wow, thats pretty rough. just reminds us that safety is first.

they tend to toss things in there that really arent necessary. like the "internet terrorists" thing that fox news did. the called 4chan a site with thousands of secret passwords. which doesnt make any sense at all.

but this is really too bad. i feel bad for the kid and his dad

This post has been edited by oerllikon: 17 October 2007 - 07:50 PM

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#14 User is offline   jmsiona 

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 05:37 AM

so is there a way to check your valves, ive played for over a year with my current tanks and what DvS21 said kinda startled me, i havent checked my valves recently... how can i tell exactly that the valves are coming out?
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#15 User is offline   Epic Change 

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 02:16 PM

On/off FTW

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Hello everybody. Im back.
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