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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200371425 - Employees Injured During Explosion

Accident: 200371425 -- Report ID: 0454510 -- Event Date: 01/26/2001
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30357932001/27/20012869Albemarle Corporation
On January 26, 2001, Employees #1 through #3 were in the process of producing diethyl zinc (DEZ). An explosion and fire occurred in a 1250 gallon distillation tank. Prior to this explosion and fire two other batches of DEZ had been produced. This batch was being produced at approximately 8:20 p.m. Employees #1 and #2 were charging zinc acetate for the third batch. Employee #1, a plant hydrolysis operator, came over to the hydrolysis plant at about 9:43 p.m. and noticed smoke coming from the blowout pit behind plant Number 4. Another employee also noticed a large amount of smoke coming from that area. Employee #1 rushed to tell Employees #2 and #3 about the smoke. They went to investigate and observed huge smoke clouds coming from the pit. They then checked the temperature and pressure instruments finding that the pressure was above 50 psi and that other instrumentation was in alarm condition. Another employee observed a fire and pulled the fire alarm. After the alarm went off Employees #1 through #3 began to evacuate the area. Employee #1 was climbing down the ladder when the lights went out. He reached the catwalk when a second explosion occurred. Employee #3 lost her footing while descending the ladder and fell onto Employee #1. Employee #1 sustained head injuries. Employee #2 sustained injuries to his arm and Employee #3 sustained injuries to her legs. All three employees were transported to the hospital where they were treated for their injuries.
Keywords: head, alarm, fire, ladder, explosion, pit, smoke, fall, arm, tank
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 303579320 Non Hospitalized injury Cut/Laceration Chemical technicians
2 303579320 Non Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Chemical technicians
3 303579320 Non Hospitalized injury Other Chemical technicians

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