Thursday, September 18, 2003

Chemical Safety Board Issues Report on Fatal Fire

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board called on the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oilfield operations in the state, to require all drillers and producers to comply with federal regulations on communicating hazards to workers and safely transporting hazardous liquids.
The January 13 accident in Rosharon, Texas, occurred as two tank trucks unloaded waste liquids into an open collection pit at the BLSR Operating Ltd. disposal facility. Unknown to either the drivers or BLSR personnel, the waste material was highly volatile, and a flammable vapor cloud formed in the unloading area. Vapor was drawn into the air intakes of trucks’ running diesel engines -- causing them to race and backfire – and the flammable cloud ignited. Two BLSR employees standing near the trucks were killed in the fire, and three others suffered serious burns. The two drivers, who were employed by T&L Environmental Services Inc., were also burned after rushing back to their trucks when they heard the engines accelerate. One of the drivers died several weeks later from his injuries.
More here.