30 March 2005 00:34 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Investigators’ entry into the isomerisation unit which exploded at BP’s ?xml:namespace>
The CSB said the dome of a benzene storage tank at an adjoining refinery tank farm was damaged and benzene vapours were being emitted near by the isomerisation unit, causing health concerns.
“The CSB is working with BP and OSHA (US Occupational Safety and Health Administration) on a site entry plan and CSB understands that BP will be performing remedial actions - including erection of scaffolding and application of foam - on the benzene tank today and on Wednesday.”
The CSB said its investigative team might be able to enter the isomerisation unit site as early as Thursday.
CSB investigation manager Bill Hoyle said the CSB investigation was occurring on multiple fronts with interviews of witnesses, collection of documents review of process schematic diagrams, cataloguing of blast damage patterns at an adjacent unit and the documentation of offsite damage.
BP said the area around the isomerisation unit was also closed to comply with a court order to preserve evidence at the site.
BP said the rest of the refinery continued to operate.
Staff and contract employees returned to normal maintenance activities and operations at the other units at the refinery, BP said.
The 23 March explosion killed 15 contract workers and sent 100 others to local hospitals. The isomerisation unit was used to increase the octane level of gasoline and was undergoing turnaround maintenance at the time of the blast.
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