Issue Date: January 28, 2008
BP Accident Kills Refinery Worker
Four accident investigators from the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) were dispatched to the BP Texas City, Texas, refinery on Jan. 18, following an accident in which a plant foreman was killed. The process-related accident took place in an ultracracker unit making fuel products. CSB says the cause is unclear but may have been a chemical explosion or overpressurization, lifting a heavy lid off a high-pressure containment vessel. The worker died from head injuries. The refinery is the same one in which a 2005 accident killed 15 workers and led to sharp criticisms of BP for unsafe practices and lax process safety controls. BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell was unwilling to speculate on the cause of the accident at this time but defended the company, saying, "We are fully cooperating with investigations by CSB and OSHA. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the plant to improve the operation integrity of major process units." The accident marks the third accidental death at the plant since the 2005 accident.
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