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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14498158 - One Employee Killed, 2 Injured When Reactor Exploded

Accident: 14498158 -- Report ID: 0626600 -- Event Date: 01/09/1988
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10230065401/12/19881741Archem Co.
EMPLOYEE #1 AND OTHER EMPLOYEE(S) HAD CHARGED REACTOR "B", A 2000 GALLON 304 STAINLESS STEEL PRESSURE VESSEL, WITH METHANOL, CAUSTIC, AND ORTHO-NITROCHLOROBENZENE. THE EMPLOYEES WERE PRESSURIZING THE REACTOR WITH NITROGEN WHEN A DETONATION OCCURRED. APPROXIMATELY 3 TO 4 MINUTES AFTER THE REACTOR HAD BEEN CHARGED WITH ALL THE RAW MATERIALS THE PRESSURE RELIEF SYSTEM RELEASED WITH EXPLOSIVE FORCE. EMPLOYEE #1 WAS KILLED, WHILE EMPLOYEES #2 & 3 WERE HOSPITALIZED WITH SERIOUS INJURIES.
Keywords: methyl alcohol, reactor, pressure vessel, explosion, chemical reaction, high pressure, struck by, pressure release, chemical
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 102300654 Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Occupation not reported
2 102300654 Fatality Other Occupation not reported
3 102300654 Hospitalized injury Fracture Occupation not reported

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