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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 571018 - Fire & Explosion In Dewax And Deasphalt Unit

Accident: 571018 -- Report ID: 0524530 -- Event Date: 01/24/1985
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
250424901/23/19852911Shell Oil Co
ON JANUARY 24, 1985, AT 3:50 PM, DURING STAND BY FOR START UP OPERATIONS AT THE DEWAX AND DEASPHALT (D & D) UNIT, A 3 INCH PIPE RUPTURED WHILE PROPANE (UNDER APPROXIMATELY 100 - 150 POUNDS OF PRESSURE) WAS BEING CIRCULATED. THE RUPTURE WAS LOCATED IN THE VICINITY OF DD 8 (A COLD C3 SURGE VESSEL). THE LIQUID PROPANE DISCHARGED INTO THE IMMEDIATE AREA, CREATING A DENSE CLOUD ABOUT 5 FEET HIGH. THE D & D UNIT EMPLOYEES COULD NOT LOCATE THE SOURCE OF THE LEAK BECAUSE OF THE DENSE PROPANE CLOUD. THE CLOUD WAS BLOWN TO THE EAST BY A 10 TO 15 KNOT WIND. THE TEMPERATURE WAS APPROXIMATELY 35 DEGREES. THE PROPANE CLOUD CAME IN CONTACT WITH THE PILOT LIGHTS OF THE DEASPHALT UNIT. THE PROPANE IGNITED, FLASHED BACK TO THE SOURCE, AND EXPLODED. A SECONDARY FIRE AND EXPLOSION OCCURRED AT THE ADJACENT COMPRESSOR FILTER BUILDING AND ROTATING DISK CONTACTORS (RDC) VESSEL. A TOTAL OF 19 EMPLOYEES RECEIVED MEDICAL TREATMENT, RANGING FROM PROLONGED HOSPITALIZATION FOR BURNS TO FIRST AID FOR CUTS, BRUISES AND RINGING EARS. ONE EMPLOYEE WAS KILLED. SEVEN OF THE EMPLOYEES WORKED IN THE D & D UNIT. OF THE SEVEN, ONE WAS KILLED AND SIX HOSPITALIZED. THE REMAINING 13 EMPLOYEES WORKED IN NEARBY UNITS. THEY RECEIVED FIRST AID TREATMENT AND WERE RELEASED.
Keywords: burn, fire, rupture, explosion, laceration, propane, contusion
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 2504249 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
2 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Occupation not reported
3 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
4 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Hearing Loss Occupation not reported
5 2504249 Hospitalized injury Fracture Occupation not reported
6 2504249 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
7 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Hearing Loss Occupation not reported
8 2504249 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
9 2504249 Hospitalized injury Cut/Laceration Occupation not reported
10 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Hearing Loss Occupation not reported
11 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Hearing Loss Occupation not reported
12 2504249 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
13 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Hearing Loss Occupation not reported
14 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Hearing Loss Occupation not reported
15 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Bruise/Contus/Abras Occupation not reported
16 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Puncture Occupation not reported
17 2504249 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
18 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Cut/Laceration Occupation not reported
19 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Bruise/Contus/Abras Occupation not reported
20 2504249 Non Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Occupation not reported

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