Help! Glass Table Top Explosion

I need your help to determine what could have caused my dinning glass table top to explode.

About 1.5 months ago, I went on an overseas trip. While there, I received a call from a friend who was regularly checking my apartment to report that my dinning glass table top had exploded with no apparent cause.

I have looked at photographs of the scene, and indeed the table top exploded into a million little safety pieces less than 1 cm in diameter. The damage to the table base, chairs, walls, and floor has been extensive, and has been valuated in the thousands of dollars.

I bought the table on an expensive designer store and had had it for 2.5 years without any problems. Before my overseas trip, the only thing I had noticed is that the surface was a little difficult to clean. There was nobody at the apartment at the time of the explosion. The apartment gets hot during the day, but the table was not exposed to direct sunlight. There was only 2 solid crystal vases on top of the table, along with 2 candlelabres with 4 candles in total.

I reported the damage to my insurance, who gave me two choices: if they determined that it was 'accidental breakage' they would only cover the glass; if they determined that it was an explosion, they would cover most of the damage.

I sent them all the information, including an assessment from a glass expert concluding that there had been an explosion starting from the eastern side of the table (shrads of glass were incrusted in the wall) caused probably by nickel sulfide contamination.

Today the insurance company told me my claim had been classified only as 'accidental breakage'. Their 'forensic expert', who never deigned to visit my apartment, concluded that due to the fact of the table appearing dirty the week prior to the explosion, one could not rule out that there was a small scratch on the table which - compounded by the fall of any object on the table (such as a candle) would have caused the table to 'accidentally break'.

I believe this is balooney. There was no earthquake that day, so the only object that could have caused any stress and could have spontaneously fallen on the table would have been a candle - but this should not have caused an explosion, particularly since the candles were on top of the table, and could not have hit the sides where the glass tension points are.

I don't know what to do now, but want to appeal the insurance decision. Nobody seems to be taking responsibility for all the damage.

How can a thick 12 mm table top glass explode with nobody around? And is my insurance taking me for a ride with their ruling of 'accidental breakage'?

I would be grateful for any help out there. I'm thinking about taking my claim to the small claims court, since it seems to be the only way I can fight this insurance giant.

Are there precedents for this?

The manufacturer has not even responded to my many phone calls...

Many thanks, Jazz

Guest User
Mon, 24/05/2004 - 20:10

Sorry to here of your problem toughened glass can explode for no apparent reason this is why a lot of glass used in high buildings or over head roof panels are laminated and or heatsoaked for more info contact a saint gobain site hope this will be of help

I have read and I agree to's Terms of Use, including Privacy Policy and Cookie Use.