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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 565291 - Employee Burned In Chemical Pressure Vessel Explosion

Accident: 565291 -- Report ID: 0627100 -- Event Date: 09/25/1989
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10657256309/26/19892879Cedar Chemical Corporation
EMPLOYEE #1 WAS BADLY BURNED WHEN A PRESSURE VESSEL CONTAINING 15,000 POUNDS OF METHYL THIOTINACOLONE (MTPO) EXPLODED, DESTROYING THE VESSEL, THE BUILDING, AND IGNITING THE ALCOHOL AT THE LOCATION. THE RESULTING FIRE DESTROYED ALL INDICATORS, READINGS, AND LOGS FOR THIS PROCESS. A DETAILED EXAMINATION WAS NOT PERMITTED BECAUSE THE STRUCTURE HAD BEEN WEAKENED TO SUCH A GREAT EXTENT. EMPLOYEE #1 REFUSED TO BE INTERVIEWED; HOWEVER, THERE ARE INDICATIONS THAT HE ACKNOWLEDGED AN ALARM DURING THE PROCESS AND TURNED IT OFF. OPERATOR ERROR APPEARS TO BE A FACTOR IN THIS ACCIDENT. IN ADDITION, THE MIX BEING PROCESSED WAS A 3-BATCH RATHER THAN THE CUSTOMARY 4-BATCH MIX; WHETHER THE NECESSARY MODIFICATIONS WERE MADE IS UNKNOWN. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT EXCESS TEMPERATURE RESULTED IN DECOMPOSITION AND AN EXOTHERMIC REACTION.
Keywords: burn, alcohol, pressure vessel, work rules, fire, explosion, high pressure, process safety, high temperature
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 106572563 Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Occupation not reported

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