April, 1998

This is a repeating event

199809AprAll DayHerrig Brothers Explosion 1998Herrig Brothers Albert City (US-IA) Origin: CSB Lessons:Asset integrity,Compliance with Standards,Emergency Preparedness,Stakeholder EngagementIndustry:AgricultureCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Impact

Summary

On April 9, 1998, an 18,000-gallon propane tank exploded at the Herrig Brothers farm in Albert City, Iowa. The explosion killed two volunteer firefighters and injured seven other emergency response personnel. Several buildings were also damaged by the blast.

KEY ISSUES:
• DESIGN & INSTALLATION DEFICIENCIES
• REGULATORY OVERSIGHT
• BLEVE HAZARD & EMERGENCY RESPONSE

ROOT CAUSES:
1. Protection for aboveground piping was inadequate.
2. The diameter of the pipe downstream from an excess flow valve was too narrow, which prevented the valve from functioning properly.
3. Fire fighter training for responding to BLEVEs was inadequate.


Image Credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

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