November, 2006

This is a repeating event

200622NovAll DayCAI / Arnel Explosion 2006CAI/Arnel Danvers (US-MA) Origin: CSB Lessons:Compliance with Standards,Operating ProceduresIndustry:ChemicalsCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Operator errorIncident:VCEHazard:FlammableCause:ErrorImpact:HUMAN (Offsite Injuries)Consequence:< 100 InjuriesMaterial:Hydrocarbons

Summary

On November 22, 2006, at about 2:45 am, a violent explosion at the CAI/Arnel manufacturing facility rocked the town of Danvers, MA. The explosion and subsequent fire destroyed the facility, heavily damaged dozens of nearby homes and businesses, and shattered windows as far away as two miles. At least 10 residents required hospital treatment for cuts and bruises. Twenty-four homes and six businesses were damaged beyond repair. Dozens of boats at the nearby marina were heavily damaged by blast overpressure and debris strikes.

The fire department ordered the evacuation of more than 300 residents within a half-mile radius of the facility. Numerous residents could not return for many months while they waited for their houses to be rebuilt or repaired. Seventeen months after the explosion, six homes had yet to be reoccupied as repairs were not complete..

KEY ISSUES:
• SAFE HANDLING OF FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS
• FIRE CODE COMPLIANCE & ENFORCEMENT
• STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT HAZARDOUS FACILITY LICENSING

ROOT CAUSES:
1. CAI management did not conduct a process hazards analysis or similar systematic review of processes involving hazardous materials.
2. CAI management did not use written procedures or checklists to facilitate safe process operations.


Image credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

Time

Wed 22 Nov 2006 - Wed 22 Nov 2006

Location

CAI / Arnel

Danversport Danvers, MA 01923 USA

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