LoC Fire exposure
Audits & Reviews
Commitment & Culture
Compliance with Standards
Control of Work
Management of Change
MONITORING & IMPROVEMENT
PROCESS SAFETY MANAGEMENT
Food & Drink
Onshore Oil & Gas
Plastics & Polymers
Pulp & Paper
Papua New Guinea
Fluid release to ground
Fluid release to water
Gas/vapour/mist/etc release to air
Rapid phase-transition explosion
Runaway reaction explosion
Solid release to air
Solid release to ground
Solid release to water
Design of Plant
Loss of Process Control
Physical Security Breach
COST (On Site)
ENVIRONMENTAL (On Site)
HUMAN (Offsite At Risk)
HUMAN (Offsite Fatalities)
HUMAN (Offsite Injuries)
HUMAN (On Site At Risk)
HUMAN (On Site Fatalities)
HUMAN (On Site Injuries)
> 100 Fatalities
< 100 Injuries
11 - 100 Fatalities
11 – 100 Fatalities
≥ 100 Injuries
PSV – Pilot Operated
Safety & Control
Shell & Tube
Valves - Safety
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Oil based solvent
Urea Ammonium Nitrate
Vinyl Chloride Monomer
Live Event Type
Quantitative Risk Assessment
Dust Safety Science
Dutch Safety Board
New Zealand Government
Process Safety Integrity
Step Change in Safety
Corrosion Under Insulation
High Pressure Water
Loss of Utilities
Low Temperature Embrittlement
Normalization of Deviance
Safe Operating Limits
Stress Corrosion Cracking
Permit To Work
Learning from Incidents
Floating Roof Tanks
Minute To Learn
Safety Critical Decisions
202205OctAll DayEq Hazardous Waste Plant Explosion 2006Environmental Quality Co. Apex (US-NC)Lessons:Asset integrity,Emergency Preparedness,Stakeholder EngagementIndustry:Waste TreatmentCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: CSB Incident:FIREHazards:FlammableContributory Factors:Containment FailureImpact:HUMAN (Offsite Injuries)Effects:< 100 InjuriesMaterial:Various
At 9:38 pm on October 5, 2006, a citizen driving past the EQ facility called 911 to report a haze with a ‘strong chlorine smell’ The Apex 911 center dispatched
At 9:38 pm on October 5, 2006, a citizen driving past the EQ facility called 911 to report a haze with a ‘strong chlorine smell’ The Apex 911 center dispatched emergency personnel to investigate.
Responding Apex Fire Department personnel discovered a chemical cloud coming from one of several businesses on Investment Boulevard. The Apex Fire Chief, acting as the Incident Commander (IC), sent two firefighter reconnaissance teams in personal protective equipment to investigate the source of the cloud.
Firefighters located a small ‘sofa-size’ fire in one of the hazardous waste bays at the EQ facility. Within minutes, the fire spread to the flammable liquid storage area, causing 55-gallon drums of flammable hazardous waste to explode and sending fireballs hundreds of feet into the air. The hazardous waste building ultimately collapsed (cover photograph).
During the incident, about 30 people (including 13 first responders) sought medical attention at local hospitals for respiratory distress and nausea. Some were treated; none was admitted. .
• FACILITY FIRE DETECTION
• FACILITY FIRE PROTECTION
• EMERGENCY PLANNING
1. The EQNC hazardous waste building was not equipped with fire or smoke detection sensors, automated fire suppression equipment, or fire barriers.
2. EQNC had not provided the fire department or county emergency agency with written information on the types, quantities, and locations of the hazardous materials in the facility prior to the incident.
Image credit: CSB
202209OctAll DayBASF (Wilton) Fire 1995BASF Wilton (GB)Lessons:Asset integrity,Emergency Preparedness,Risk Assessment,Stakeholder EngagementIndustry:WarehouseCountry:United KingdomLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: HSE Incident:FIREHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (Offsite At Risk)Effects:EnvironmentalMaterial:PropyleneTopics:Occupied Buildings
At approximately 0400 hrs on the 9th October 1995 the fire alarm sounded in ICI’s Wilton Site Emergency Services Control Centre, alerting of a fire in the BASF warehouse which
At approximately 0400 hrs on the 9th October 1995 the fire alarm sounded in ICI’s Wilton Site Emergency Services Control Centre, alerting of a fire in the BASF warehouse which was used for storing polypropylene finished products. Almost an hour later a major emergency on the site was declared and the full on-site emergency plan initiated. The fire generated a large black plume of smoke, although this was declared non-toxic. Police alerted the public situated down wind of the fire to stay indoors and to close windows. The ‘Redcar’ trunk road was closed and employees of adjacent companies, including those on-site, were advised not to report to work.
The warehouse facility met the building regulations and was equipped with a range of fire safety features. This included fire doors, operated both by fusible links and smoke detection, which failed to close during the fire. No cause was established for this. However, it may have been attributed to the fact that the warehouse did not become completely smoke logged, as smoke was vented through the roof. Hence, the smoke failed to activate the detectors, which would have closed the doors.
No direct root causes for the fire was determined. However, the results of the investigation by BASF and the Cleveland County Fire Brigade suggests the probable cause was a fluorescent light fitting overheating, causing the ignition of its Perspex refectory which dropped flaming molten plastic onto stored product below. The warehouse lighting was in continuous use.
No injuries or ill health were reported.
The perceived risk was low and therefore no formal risk assessment for dealing with a major fire for the warehouse was undertaken. Following the incident it took several days to re-establish the inventory and its layout, as all local records were destroyed in the fire.
Because the warehouse was sited in the middle of the ICI complex there was potential for escalation into a much more serious event. The incident clearly highlighted the value of having a well-defined emergency plan and procedures in place as well as trained personal to execute it.
• EMERGENCY RESPONSE / SPILL CONTROL
• PLANT LAYOUT
• ACTIVE / PASSIVE FIRE PROTECTION
Image Credit: Cleveland Fire Brigade
202209OctAll DayUS Ink Fire 2012US Ink East Rutherford (US-NJ)Lessons:Asset integrity,Audits & Reviews,Management of Change,Risk Assessment,Workforce InvolvementIndustry:ChemicalsCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: CSB Incident:Dust explosionHazards:ExplosiveContributory Factors:HousekeepingImpact:HUMAN (On Site Injuries)Effects:< 100 InjuriesMaterial:Black InkTopics:Chemical Reaction
An explosion and flash fires occurred at the US Ink manufacturing facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Tuesday, October 9, 2012. Seven workers suffered burn injuries when they congregated
An explosion and flash fires occurred at the US Ink manufacturing facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Tuesday, October 9, 2012. Seven workers suffered burn injuries when they congregated at the entrance to the ink mixing room after hearing a loud thump from the newly installed dust collection system on the top of the facility and seeing signs of an initial flash fire from a bag dumping station. A second flash fire then occurred that led to the employee injuries.
• COMBUSTIBLE DUST
• ENGINEERING DESIGN
• MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE
• PROCESS HAZARD ANALYSIS
• HAZARD COMMUNICATION
• MANAGEMENT OVERSIGHT
• REGULATORY OVERSIGHT
1. Inadequate automatic fire alarm systems
2. New installations & modifications did not consider PHA, MOC, documentation, contractors & training
3. Organisational change management & knowledge transfer deficiencies
Image credit: CSB
202213OctAll DayPriolo (Isab Sud) Explosion 2008ISAB Sud Priolo (IT)Industry:RefiningCountry:ItalyLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: Marsh Incident:EXPLOSIONHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (On Site At Risk)Effects:EnvironmentalMaterial:Methane
An explosion and fire in a 562 megawatt (MW)-capacity integrated gasification combined cycle electricity generating plant at a refinery caused a fire in the gasification unit on a refinery. No
An explosion and fire in a 562 megawatt (MW)-capacity integrated gasification combined cycle electricity generating plant at a refinery caused a fire in the gasification unit on a refinery. No one was injured as a result of the explosion and fire, but the loss resulted in the temporary closure of the refinery.
[ Property Damage $150 Million. Estimated Current Value $179 Million ]
Image credit: ISAB
202201DecAll DaySannazzaro De Burgondi Refinery Fire 2016Eni Sannazzaro De Burgondi (IT)Industry:RefiningCountry:ItalyLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: Marsh Incident:FIREHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (On Site At Risk)Effects:EnvironmentalMaterial:Crude Oil
A major fire broke out on a refinery processing unit designed to convert heavy oil residues into refined products, resulting in serious damage to the plant. [ Property Damage $250
A major fire broke out on a refinery processing unit designed to convert heavy oil residues into refined products, resulting in serious damage to the plant.
[ Property Damage $250 Million. Estimated Current Value $259 Million ]
Image credit: ENI
202214DecAll DayNational Freight Consortium Fire 1984National Freight Consortium Sheffield (GB)Industry:WarehouseCountry:United KingdomLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: HSE Incident:FIREHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (Offsite At Risk)Effects:EnvironmentalMaterial:Various
On 14 December 1984 fire broke out in a furniture repository in Sheffield which formed part of a very large warehouse and transit shed building occupied by the National Freight
On 14 December 1984 fire broke out in a furniture repository in Sheffield which formed part of a very large warehouse and transit shed building occupied by the National Freight Consortium plc. In two days the fire destroyed the whole warehouse, with the exception of one protection section. It involved the attendance of several hundred fireman over a total period of six days.
Among the wide variety of goods stored in the building was a relatively small tonnage of chemicals. Concern was expressed during and after the fire about the difficulty experienced by the Fire Brigade in identifying the possible risks from the materials stored, followed by allegations by the Fire Brigades’ Union that firemen had been unnecessarily exposed to harmful fumes without the benefit of breathing apparatus.
The fire also led to expressions of concern about a number of aspects, including the delay in summoning the Fire Brigade and possible exposure of member of the public to harmful fumes and asbestos material evolved in the fire.
Image Credit: HSE
202304JanAll DayBraehead Container Depot Fire 1977Renfrew (GB)Industry:WarehouseCountry:United KingdomLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: HSE Incident:FIREHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (Offsite Injuries)Effects:< 100 InjuriesMaterial:Various
On 4 January 1977, a serious fire and explosion occurred at the Braehead Container Clearance Depot at Renfrew in Scotland. The fire and explosion, which originated at a warehouse occupied by
On 4 January 1977, a serious fire and explosion occurred at the Braehead Container Clearance Depot at Renfrew in Scotland.
The fire and explosion, which originated at a warehouse occupied by James Kelman Transport and Storage, completely wrecked that warehouse and the adjacent whisky bonded warehouse occupied by Clyde Container Services Ltd and also caused widespread window and roof damage to domestic, commercial, industrial and public property within a radius of a mile of the premises. The cost of the damage is estimated at some £6 000 000.
It was fortunate that, despite the extent of the damage, only twelve members of the public and one watchman were treated for shock and minor injuries. After investigation had eliminated one cause of fire after another it was discovered that it had accidently been started by three boys who had lit a fire to warm themselves at a den which they had made, during the New Year holiday, from cardboard cartons stacked beside the warehouse.
Subsequent experimental work tended to suggest that explosions of this nature and severity can be caused by the involvement of commercially pure sodium chlorate under the intense heat conditions of an industrial fire.
Image Credit: HSE
202308JanAll DayBantry Bay Terminal Explosion 1979Betelgeuse Whiddy Island (IE)Industry:ShippingCountry:IrelandLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: Marsh Incident:VCEHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (On Site Fatalities)Effects:11 – 100 FatalitiesMaterial:Crude Oil
An 11-year-old, 121,000-deadweight-ton tanker had completed unloading its first parcel of Arabian heavy crude when a small fire was noticed on deck. About 10 minutes later, fire spread to both
An 11-year-old, 121,000-deadweight-ton tanker had completed unloading its first parcel of Arabian heavy crude when a small fire was noticed on deck. About 10 minutes later, fire spread to both sides of the ship. Later, a massive explosion occurred. The initiating event of the disaster was likely the buckling of the ship’s structure at deck level. Explosions in the ballast tanks and the breaking of the ship’s back followed. These events were produced by the conjunction of two separate factors: a seriously weakened hull due to inadequate maintenance and an excessive stress due to incorrect ballasting at the time of the disaster. In addition to the total loss of the ship, 1,130 feet of the concrete and steel jetty were damaged or destroyed.
[ Property Damage $70 Million. Estimated Current Value $248 Million ]
Image credit: Irish Times
202321JanAll DayRiver Road Barking Explosion 1980Womersley Boome Chemicals (GB)Industry:WarehouseCountry:United KingdomLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: HSE Incident:Explosive decompositionHazards:OxidisingImpact:HUMAN (Offsite At Risk)Effects:EnvironmentalMaterial:Sodium Chlorate
A series of explosions which occurred at a chemical storage depot at 27 River Road, Barking on 21 January 1980 was probably caused by the rapid thermal decomposition of sodium
A series of explosions which occurred at a chemical storage depot at 27 River Road, Barking on 21 January 1980 was probably caused by the rapid thermal decomposition of sodium chlorate in an intense fire.
About 4000 people were temporarily evacuated from nearby housing estates when large quantities of smoke were blown in their direction.
The storage of sodium chlorate in quantities as low as 2-45 tonnes was not considered, prior to this incident, to be potentially dangerous. All previously recorded incidents involved quantities of 20 or more tonnes of the material.
This report emphasises the need for occupiers of similar premises to pay attention to:
– segregating various chemicals into different categories with regard to their relevant properties;
– obtaining advice on fire precautions from authoritative sources;
– preparing adequate emergency procedures in conjunction with the emergency services.
Image Credit: HSE
202330JanAll DayPori Fire 2017Huntsman Pori (FI)Industry:ChemicalsCountry:FinlandLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: Marsh Incident:FIREHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (On Site At Risk)Effects:EnvironmentalMaterial:Titanium Dioxide
A fire occurred at a titanium dioxide manufacturing facility, resulting in significant damage to the plant and the halting of production of the pigment until repairs could be completed. [
A fire occurred at a titanium dioxide manufacturing facility, resulting in significant damage to the plant and the halting of production of the pigment until repairs could be completed.
[ Property Damage $180 Million. Estimated Current Value $267 Million ]
Image credit: Jorma liiho
202311FebAll DayPermaflex Longport Explosion 1980Permaflex Stoke (GB)Industry:ManufacturingCountry:United KingdomLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: HSE Incident:VCEHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (On Site Injuries)Effects:< 100 InjuriesMaterial:LPG
On the 11 February 1980 a fire and a series of explosions occurred at a warehouse in a factory at Trubshaw Cross, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent. On the morning of the fire
On the 11 February 1980 a fire and a series of explosions occurred at a warehouse in a factory at Trubshaw Cross, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent. On the morning of the fire the warehouse contained some 49 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in cartridges and aerosol containers as well as about 1 tonne of petroleum mixtures in small containers, raw materials, and packaging materials. It is almost certain that the source of ignition was the electrical system of a battery operated fork lift truck.
LPG is a well known fire and explosion hazard; the circumstances of the fire emphasise the need for occupiers of premises containing LPG to be adequately informed, by obtaining information and advice from authoritative sources, on the hazards of LPG and the precautions to be observed in its storage.
Image Credit: Stoke Sentinel
202313FebAll DayUniversal Freight Fire 1982Universal Freight Woodkirk (GB)Lessons:Emergency Preparedness,Risk Assessment,Stakeholder EngagementIndustry:WarehouseCountry:United KingdomLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure Origin: HSE Incident:Pool fireHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (Offsite At Risk)Effects:EnvironmentalMaterial:Octyl PhenolTopics:Chemical Reaction
At approximately 10:00 hours workers on site noticed the electrical lights flickering and saw smoke coming from the warehouse. On opening the warehouse door to investigate, a wall of thick
At approximately 10:00 hours workers on site noticed the electrical lights flickering and saw smoke coming from the warehouse. On opening the warehouse door to investigate, a wall of thick smoke confronted an employee. Shutting the door he raised the alarm and called the fire brigade. The warehouse was used for storing large quantities of ICI herbicides in plastic bottles and drums with plastic liners and octyl phenol in paper sacks.
The fire brigade responded promptly and was automatically issued with TREM cards (Transport Emergency Cards) relating to the herbicides and Octyl Phenol. However, by this time the fire had become established and had broken through the roof of the warehouse. The intensity and speed at which the fire developed surprised the fire fighters, as they believed the warehouse contents to be largely incombustible.
Some of the drums/bottles had burst in the fire and their contents were washed down the road and into Hey Beck, a small stream that drains from the site. This resulted in a major pollution incident. Because of the large volumes involved the decision was taken to allow the material to continue to flow into the drains, washed down by the fire brigade. This washing down activity continued for over two days after the incident. The diluted herbicides turned the stream into a brown foaming torrent for several miles. The River Calder was affected by this pollution. The fire fighters were faced with additional problems because of the physical properties of octyl phenol. This substance floats on water producing a flowing pool of burning liquid.
The seriousness of the pollution prompted action to be taken to contact police, the water authority, local radio stations and the press to warn the general public of the dangers of coming into contact with the contaminated water. Farmers were warned to keep livestock away from riverbanks.
The exact cause of this accident is unknown. A worker had been shrink-wrapping paper sacks of octyl phenol onto wooden pallets using a plastic film and a hand held cylinder heat gun, shortly before the incident occurred. It is feasible that the flame from the gun passing too close overheated one of the pallets, causing one or more bags, or the pallet to smoulder, eventually bursting in flames.
• EMERGENCY RESPONSE / SPILL CONTROL
• REACTION / PRODUCT TESTING
Image Credit: West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service