01 August 2005 17:25 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--The Chemical Safety Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) said it plans to continue its probe this week into the 28 July explosion and fire at the BP Texas City, Texas refinery.
CSB chairman Carolyn Merritt said the board would seek to determine whether the 28 July explosion and the 23 March BP ?xml:namespace>
A pipe flange break in the refinery’s resid hydrotreating unit (RHU) was believed to have caused last week’s explosion.
The break was traced to a pipe flange installation error, BP said.
BP said installation of a carbon steel pipe spool on the outlet of a heat exchanger, instead of a chromium alloy steel pipe spool, is believed to have caused the break. BP said it believes the error occurred in February 2005 when the RHU was shut down for routine maintenance.
BP said its investigators will review the RHU maintenance to determine how the mistake occurred.
“All three processing trains on the RHU have been shut down,” BP said in a statement. “The fire impacted one processing train. Refinery staff will ensure that correct piping is installed in correct locations before the unit is restarted.”
CSB investigators said they plan to interview eyewitnesses this week and will examine the pipe that separated from the flange.
Merritt said: “Although this latest explosion and fire fortunately caused no injuries, such accidents are not an acceptable part of normal operations. The accident occurred at an entirely different part of the
The 460,000 bbl/day refinery is 30 miles southeast of Houston on the US Gulf Coast.
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