Presentation on theme: "BP AMOCO EXPLOSION MARCH 05 15 DEAD 100 INJURED 30 PUBLIC INJURED 8 IN CRITICAL CONDITION."— Presentation transcript:
BP AMOCO EXPLOSION MARCH 05 15 DEAD 100 INJURED 30 PUBLIC INJURED 8 IN CRITICAL CONDITION
Details Available so far… Location was Texas City, about 56 kilometres southeast of Houston. BP AMOCO Refinery is on 1,200 acres with 30 refinery units and is 71 years old. It is the USAs third largest refinery. It is BPs largest plant, and the USAs third largest. Explosion was a believed to be the result of an Unconfined Vapour Cloud Explosion from a release of Benzene/Heptane from a Raffinate Splitter on a 180 kL/hr Isomerisation Unit. The unit was being started up after a 2 week shutdown for reactor repairs. 12 months earlier an explosion on startup had also occurred with no injuries. Exact quantities of hydrocarbon involved have not been determined as yet.
A camera on a nearby building captured these before and after photographs of the initial blast.
About 375 employees of contracting firms Jacobs and JE Merit were doing shutdown maintenance work at an Ultracracker unit near the Isomerisation unit when the blast occurred. They were not working on the Isomerisation unit.
Most of the damage to the process unit was thermal (from the fire which ensued after the explosion).
The fire was extinguished by nightfall. A portion of the plant was reduced to a pile of smouldering, gnarled metal (L.A. Times)
Of those killed, 11 worked for companies servicing a different part of the Refinery entirely. This photo shows the temporary offices at the bottom, and a storehouse near the top of the photo. Several people died in this temporary office trailer which was used for Safety Briefings, Progress Meetings, and Consultation among Supervisors. The temporary offices was within 50 metres of the blast zone
The decision on where to place such trailers would be a big part of the investigation, Im sure – BP Spokesman Bill Stevens (NY Times)
Chemical Safety and Hazard Board Investigator John Bresland noted two blast- proof control rooms at the site … suffered minimal damage (Houston Chronicle)
It is believed that a car being started may have provided the source of ignition for the explosive vapour cloud
The heat from the fire was so intense that several cars in the nearby parking lot exploded into flames.
Pedro Albaladejo (spare parts dealership nearby) said the explosion sounded like a bomb going off. This picture shows the initial blast damage to the Storehouse, adjacent to the portable offices.
The initial blast appears to have been the cause of most of the loss of life and equipment damage.
Internal damage to buildings for up to 8 kilometres was experienced. Ceilings were damaged in offices. The blast … forced schoolchildren to cower under their desks (Wires) Windows were blown in at local homes several kilometres away, and windows were rattled up to 8 kilometres away.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Chemical Board are conducting separate investigations. OSHAs probe is expected to take six months, while the Chemical Board will probably take 12 months to complete its findings. Of interest are the following incidents which occurred at the same plant. The day prior to the explosion, a furnace valve caught fire. March 2004 a similar explosion on the same plant had occurred, requiring evacuation of the entire facility. Afterwards BP were fined $US63,000 for 14 safety violations including problems with its Emergency Shutdown System and Employee Training. In 2002 at the same plant 2 maintenance employees were killed when scalding hot water (260°C) was released from a pump seal – only a check valve was used as isolation for the pump. In addition, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission fined BP $US700,000 for a well head explosion in 2002 in Prudhoe Bay.
The total cost of this incident is expected to reach $US 1 Billion