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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14232714 - Employee Killed During Tank Explosion

Accident: 14232714 -- Report ID: 0316400 -- Event Date: 12/31/1991
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10059698001/01/19922869Union Carbide Chemicals & Plastics
Employee #1, the basement operator at a powerhouse, was purging the liquid residue from the betene entrainment tank to the #16 boiler. Water and steam inadvertently got into the knockout pot, and materials that react to water, such as, but not limited to, acetic anhydride and diketene were in the tank. A reaction occurred, releasing flammable and hazardous materials into the atmosphere through a safety relief valve. The pressure relief device was only sized for an external fire, not a chemical reaction. As a result, the safety relief valves could not withstand the reaction. The overpressurization caused the steel pot to fail and explode. Employee #1 was killed.
Keywords: safety relief valve, toxic atmosphere, equipment failure, explosion, chemical reaction, high pressure, valve, tank, accidental discharge
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 100596980 Fatality Strain/Sprain Occupation not reported

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