August, 2015

This is a repeating event

201513AugAll DayLitvinov Explosion 2015Unipetrol Litvinov (CZ)Lessons:Asset integrity,Audits & Reviews,Competency,Compliance with Standards,Control of Work,Management of Change,Operating Procedures,Operational Integrity,Operational Readiness,Process Knowledge,Risk AssessmentIndustry:PetrochemicalsCountry:Czech RepublicLanguage:ENLoC:Component malfunction Origin: Marsh Incident:VCEHazards:FlammableImpact:HUMAN (On Site At Risk)Effects:EnvironmentalMaterial:Propylene


A short interruption in the supply of cooling water to a separation column downstream of a steam cracker resulted in the need to open relief valves from the column to flare. Subsequent manual choking back of the relief line to flare resulted in the pressure relief valves opening. These valves vibrated excessively, resulting in the failure of the bolted flanges and the release of the propylene-rich column overhead line into the atmosphere. The resultant explosion led to the failure of utility lines to the cracker requiring a crash shutdown. The lack of process steam due to the interruption to the utility supply resulted in the failure of furnace tubes and the release of quench oil. There was subsequently a pool fire from the released quench oil under the cracker, resulting in damage to four of the 10 cracker furnaces.

[ Property Damage $180 Million. Estimated Current Value $187 Million ]

Image credit: Unipetrol