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CSB Safety Video: Animation of Explosion at Tesoro

January 30, 2014

Video Description

Seattle, Washington, January 30, 2014 - The CSB today released a new computer animation recreating the explosion and fire that killed seven workers at the Tesoro Refinery in Anacortes, Washington on April 2, 2010. The five-minute animation illustrates the process of "high temperature hydrogen attack," which over the years damaged and weakened a nearly forty-year-old carbon steel heat exchanger, leading to a catastrophic rupture on the night of the accident. The CSB investigation concluded that the accident at Tesoro could have been prevented had the company replaced the vulnerable carbon steel heat exchangers with inherently safer alloys that were already well known within the industry, but not required.

The animation also explains that seven workers were present on the night of the accident assisting with startup of the heat exchangers - mitigating recurring leaks never adequately addressed by Tesoro, and manually opening a series of long-winded valves. All seven lost their lives as a result of the blast.

About the Chemical Safety Board

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. CSB investigations examine all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems. The Board does not issue citations or fines but makes safety recommendations to companies, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA.

For more information, please visit www.csb.gov or contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at public@csb.gov or by phone at 202.446.8095.


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