Nearly one year ago, Hassan Kamal Hussein died after an incident in an engineering lab at Texas A&M University at Qatar. Doha News now reports that a trial has started in the case. Some details from the Doha News story:

  • Hussein is identified as a laboratory coordinator and he suffered fatal head and neck wounds in an explosion.
  • He was using some sort of equipment that was being installed to produce gasoline (petrol) from natural gas.
  • The department chairman had advised staff not to use the equipment.
  • But apparently Hussein did anyway, and there was a natural gas leak. Although the story says that "using the machinery before it was completely connected to the lab apparatus should not have led to an explosion," if there was a methane leak, it probably found an ignition source in the lab.
  • The people charged in the case are an unnamed engineer who allegedly tried to fix the equipment, and the equipment's manufacturer. Both were charged with involuntary manslaughter

I reached out to a few petroleum engineering faculty at other institutions to see if they have any idea what the equipment was, but I haven't heard back. A prior Doha News story <a href=""says it was a vapor-liquid separator.