August, 1999

This is a repeating event

199917AugAll DayKorfez Refinery Earthquake 1999Tupras Korfez (TR)Industry:RefiningCountry:TurkeyLanguage:ENLoC:Natural event Origin: Marsh Incident:FIREHazards:FlammableContributory Factors:Natural EventImpact:HUMAN (On Site At Risk)Effects:EnvironmentalMaterial:Hydrocarbons


An earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale caused a collapse of a 312-feet-high concrete chimney on one of the crude units, setting off fires at this 226,000 bbl-per-day refinery. Fires also broke out on several storage tanks on the site. The process teams successfully isolated and tackled the crude unit fire. Fires on the tank farm were allowed to burn themselves out after storage tanks were pumped out as much as possible. Due to broken water mains, firefighting efforts were limited to attempts by aircraft to drop chemicals on the fires. The US and several other countries sent foam supplies, personnel, and equipment to fight the fires. Damage to the refinery included total loss of six storage tanks, deformation of a further four storage tanks, and approximately 50% damage to other floating roof tanks. Damage to process units included the fire on the crude distillation unit, damage to a reformer, and damage to several connecting pipelines. All employees were evacuated. Airplanes were used to spray chemicals to extinguish the fire because of a shortage of water due to broken main.

[ Property Damage $200 Million. Estimated Current Value $362 Million ]

Image credit: Tupras