The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) released updates Oct. 3 on four ongoing investigations into chemical releases and explosions.
These updates aren’t final investigation reports and still lack information regarding the actual causes of the incidents that are under investigation.
The four updated investigations are:
Watson Grinding and Manufacturing in Houston, Texas
This Jan. 24, 2020, explosion fatally injured two employees and seriously injured two others. Hundreds of nearby homes, businesses and other structures were damaged.
The explosion was fueled by propylene that had inadvertently been released inside an enclosed space.
Wacker Polysilicon LLC in Charleston, Tennessee
On Nov. 13, 2020, a heat exchanger cracked and released hydrogen chlorine at the facility during maintenance activities.
The release caused one fatality when a contract worker fell from an elevated structure while attempting to escape the release. Two other contract workers were injured seriously as they also fell while attempting to escape. Another contract worker received chemical burns in the incident.
Optima Belle LLC in Belle, West Virginia
This explosion and fire occurred Dec. 8, 2020, and involved the dehydration of a chlorinated isocyanurate compound, resulting in one fatality.
The update to this investigation “includes extensive background” on the process used in the facility and the events leading up to the incident.
Foundation Food Group in Gainesville, Georgia
On Jan. 28, 2021, liquid nitrogen was released from a freezer at the chicken processing facility, resulting in six deaths, three seriously injured workers and one seriously injured emergency responder.
This update provides an incident description, diagrams of the facility and details on the installation of liquid nitrogen and operational issues.