December, 2020

This is a repeating event

202007DecAll DayNDK Crystal Explosion 2009NDK Crystal Belvidere (US-IL) Origin: CSB Lessons:Commitment & Culture,Compliance with Standards,Incident InvestigationIndustry:ManufacturingCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:DeficiencyIncident:Pressure burstHazard:Mechanical/Kinetic/PotentialCause:Corrosion/Erosion/FatigueImpact:HUMAN (Offsite Fatalities)Consequence:1-10 FatalitiesMaterial:Quartz

Summary

On December 7, 2009, at approximately 2:30 pm, State Special Vessel No. 2, under an operating pressure of 29,000 psig, suddenly and violently ruptured, 120 days into a 150-day operating cycle. A white cloud of steam and debris rapidly expanded outward from the facility, traveled onto the interstate, and dissipated within seconds.

The sudden release of superheated liquid caused an eight-foot tall by four-foot wide vessel fragment, weighing approximately 8,600 pounds, to travel through two concrete walls and finally land about 435 feet from the NDK building. The fragment skipped across a neighboring facility parking lot and slammed into the wall of an adjacent business office. The force of the impact pushed the wall inward causing furniture to shift and ceiling tiles to fall. One person working near the wall was injured.

The thrust from the escaping liquid caused the base of the vessel to violently shear away from its foundation and blew pieces of structural steel out of the building into the parking lot of a nearby rest stop gas station, known as the Illinois Tollway (I-90) Oasis. One piece of structural steel struck and killed a truck driver at the rest stop. After shearing from its base and throwing shrapnel out of the facility, the vessel swung from the building and landed on the ground outside.

KEY ISSUES:
• PRESSURE VESSEL DESIGN & MATERIAL SELECTION REQUIREMENTS
• LEARNING FROM PREVIOUS INCIDENTS
• INSPECTIONS

ROOT CAUSES:
1. Stress corrosion cracking.
2. Testing & inspection deficiencies.


Image credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

Time

Mon 7 Dec 2020 - Mon 7 Dec 2020

Location

NDK Crystal

NDK Crystal Inc., 701 Crystal Pkwy, Belvidere, IL 61008

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