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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14480602 - Explosion And Fire In Reactor Being Cleaned; Workers Hurt

Accident: 14480602 -- Report ID: 0214200 -- Event Date: 10/08/1986
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
227391010/10/19862891National Starch And Chemical Corporation
ON OCTOBER 8, 1986, EMPLOYEES #1 AND #2 BEGAN TO WASH OUT A HORIZONTAL CYLINDRICAL REACTOR VESSEL, 8 FEET BY 8 FEET. EMPLOYEE #1 WAS WORKING FROM A PLATFORM LOCATED 13 FEET ABOVE THE FLOOR. EMPLOYEE #2 LIFTED A 55 GALLON DRUM CONTAINING ABOUT 30 GALLONS OF TOLUENE ONTO THE PLATFORM. EMPLOYEE #1 THEN POURED THE TOLUENE THROUGH A FUNNEL DIRECTLY INTO THE VESSEL. THERE WAS A SUDDEN FIRE AND EXPLOSION, CAUSING EMPLOYEE #1 TO JUMP FROM THE PLATFORM AND BREAK HIS LEG. EMPLOYEE #2 DRAGGED EMPLOYEE #1, NOW BADLY BURNED AND UNABLE TO WALK, OUT OF THE BUILDING. BOTH EMPLOYEES WERE HOSPITALIZED. THE FIRE AND EXPLOSION WAS CAUSED BY STATIC ELECTRICITY GENERATED BY THE FREE FALL OF LIQUID TOLUENE INTO THE VESSEL CONTAINING A COMBUSTIBLE MIXTURE.
Keywords: burn, fracture, static electricity, pressure vessel, cleaning, fire, explosion, combustible liquid, fall, chemical
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 2273910 Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
2 2273910 Hospitalized injury Fracture Occupation not reported

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