April, 2019

This is a repeating event

201902AprAll DayKMCO Explosion 2019KMCO Crosby (US-TX)Lessons:Asset integrityIndustry:ChemicalsCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Deterioration Origin: CSB Incident:VCEHazards:FlammableContributory Factors:Component MalfunctionImpact:HUMAN (On Site Fatalities)Effects:1-10 FatalitiesMaterial:Isobutylene


On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, just before 10:46 am, a vapor cloud of isobutylene formed at the KMCO, LLC (‘KMCO’) facility in Crosby, Texas after a three-inch gray iron (a type of cast iron) y-strainer, a piping component, failed.

Shortly after 10:50 am, the vapor cloud found an ignition source and ignited, causing an explosion. The explosion killed one KMCO worker and seriously burned two others. On the day of the incident, more than 200 KMCO employees, contract workers, and visitors were onsite. The incident injured at least 30 workers (seven KMCO employees and 23 contract workers). A shelter-in-place was issued to community members within one mile of the KMCO facility.


Image credit: CSB


CSBUS Chemical Safety Board