October, 2009

This is a repeating event

200923OctAll DayCaribbean Petroleum Explosion 2009CAPECO Bayamon (US-PR) Origin: CSB Lessons:Asset integrity,Commitment & Culture,Emergency Preparedness,Risk AssessmentIndustry:StorageCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Component malfunctionIncident:VCEHazard:FlammableCause:Loss of Process ControlImpact:HUMAN (On Site Injuries)Consequence:< 100 InjuriesMaterial:Petroleum/GasolineTopic:Functional Safety

Summary

On the night of October 23, 2009, a large explosion occurred at the Caribbean Petroleum Corporation (CAPECO) facility in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, during offloading of gasoline from a tanker ship, the Cape Bruny, to the CAPECO tank farm onshore. A 5-million gallon aboveground storage tank (AST) overflowed into a secondary containment dike. The gasoline spray aerosolized, forming a large vapor cloud, which ignited after reaching an ignition source in the wastewater treatment (WWT) area of the facility. The blast and fire from multiple secondary explosions resulted in significant damage to 17 of the 48 petroleum storage tanks and other equipment onsite and in neighborhoods and businesses offsite. The fires burned for almost 60 hours. Petroleum products leaked into the soil, nearby wetlands and navigable waterways in the surrounding area.

KEY ISSUES:
• TANK OVERFILL PREVENTION
• COMMUNITY IMPACT
• HAZARD ASSESSMENT
• SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
• REGULATION GAPS: NO RISK ASSESSMENT CONSIDERING PROXIMITY TO COMMUNITIES
• REGULATION GAPS: NO ADHERENCE TO RAGAGEP
• REGULATION GAPS: NO REDUNDANT OR INDEPENDENT SAFEGUARDS TO PREVENT OVERFILLING A TANK

ROOT CAUSES:
1. Deficient Management System.
2. Production Pressure.
3. Lack of reliable instruments:Level control failure due to inaccurate available volume calculation.
4. No high-level alarm to notify ship to stop transfer or divert flow.
5. No AOPS with ability to shut down or divert flow into tank.


Image credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

Time

Fri 23 Oct 2009 - Fri 23 Oct 2009

Location

Caribbean Petroleum

CAPECO - Refineria Gulf, Juan Sánchez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico, Bayamón 00962, Puerto Rico

X