CSB Releases Update on Investigation into Fatal Refinery Incident at BP-Husky Refining in Oregon, OH

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), October 31, 2022

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is releasing information related to its ongoing investigation of the chemical release and fire at the BP-Husky Refining LLC (BPHR) Toledo refinery in Oregon, Ohio. BPHR is operated by BP Products North American Inc. (BP).

At about 6:46 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, an accidental release of flammable chemicals ignited, creating a fire that fatally injured two employees and resulted in substantial property damage at the refinery. The CSB is examining the valves and interconnected piping associated with the refinery’s Fuel Gas Mix Drum (Figure 1) located in the Crude 1 Unit.

Fuel Gas Mix Drum at the BP-Husky refinery. (Credit: CSB)
Figure 1. Fuel Gas Mix Drum at the BP-Husky refinery. (Credit: CSB)

The Fuel Gas Mix Drum was installed around 2016 and combines various sources of flammable gases for use as fuel in refinery furnaces and boilers.

The Fuel Gas Mix Drum is primarily a vapor-filled vessel and is equipped with features to remove liquids that could be entrained with vapor or that otherwise enter the refinery’s fuel gas system.

CSB investigators are focusing on a release of flammable naphtha from the Fuel Gas Mix Drum, based on information from various sources at the refinery. Access to the area surrounding the Fuel Gas Mix Drum is currently restricted due to the presence of asbestos fibers.

The CSB investigation team is conducting witness and employee interviews, documenting the incident scene, collecting equipment and equipment components, obtaining documents, and evaluating recorded process data. The CSB team has already interviewed more than 80 people and anticipates interviewing 20-30 more.

  • BP, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the United Steelworkers International and Local 1-346 are conducting parallel investigations of the incident.
  • The CSB, OSHA, and BP-Husky Refining LLC signed an evidence and site control agreement to preserve evidence.
  • BP, OSHA, and the United Steelworkers, which represents hourly workers at the refinery, have been cooperating with the CSB team. 

The CSB will continue providing updates as the investigation progresses and additional information becomes available. 

About the CSB

The CSB is an independent, non-regulatory federal agency whose mission is to drive chemical safety change through independent investigations to protect people and the environment. The agency’s board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical incidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems. The CSB 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

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