If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Refinery Accidents Under Investigation

by Jeff Johnson
November 23, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 47

Silver Eagle Explosion

Recent refinery accidents in Puerto Rico and Utah are under investigation by the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), the board announced last week. At Caribbean Petroleum Refining, in San Juan, a nonfunctioning monitoring system is thought to be responsible for an Oct. 23 tank explosion and fire. An overfilled gasoline storage tank released vapor and initiated the fire and blast, which spread through the tank farm and damaged businesses and homes more than a mile from the refinery. CSB also announced that Silver Eagle Refining, in Woods Cross, Utah, is voluntarily shutting down its operations to allow CSB and state officials to conduct a thorough examination of a Nov. 4 hydrogen explosion and fire at the plant. The board has voiced serious concern over the integrity of piping and equipment at the plant, particularly a 10-inch pipe that ruptured and released hydrogen that led to an explosion and blast wave that affected some 100 homes, knocking one off its foundation. It is the first time the board has asked for a plant shutdown in order to conduct an investigation.

Credit: CSB
An overfilled gasoline tank led to this fire at the Caribbean Petroleum Refinery.
Credit: CSB
An overfilled gasoline tank led to this fire at the Caribbean Petroleum Refinery.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.