October, 1992

This is a repeating event

199216OctAll DaySodegaura Refinery Explosion 1992Fuji Oil Co. Sodegaura (JP)Industry:RefiningCountry:JapanLanguage:ENLoC:Maintenance error Origin: Marsh Incident:VCEHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (On Site Fatalities)Effects:1-10 FatalitiesMaterial:Hydrocarbons


An explosion and subsequent fire resulted in significant property damage at this 146,500 bbl per day refinery. The explosion occurred following a heat exchanger failure in the hydrodesulphurization unit for light oil. The channel cover and lock ring of this heat exchanger were hurled into an adjacent factory, which was located approximately 650 feet from this plant. The channel cover and lock ring were each five feet in diameter, and weighed 4,000 lb and 2,000 lb, respectively. The hydrodesulphurization unit was being restarted following catalyst exchanging work when plant personnel noticed that hydrocarbon was being released from the heat exchanger. Plant personnel were working to complete the additional tightening work required on the heat exchanger bolts due to thermal expansion when the explosion occurred. The subsequent fire was brought under control in two hours and 45 minutes by firefighters using 15 fire trucks.

[ Property Damage $161 Million. Estimated Current Value $339 Million ]

Image credit: FOC