US CSB starts full investigation of BP fatality

07 February 2008 17:33  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is proceeding with a full investigation of a fatality that occurred on 14 January at BP's refinery at Texas City, the group said on Thursday in a news conference.

A BP supervisor, Joseph Gracia, died after an explosion in a filter housing, the board said.

The explosion stripped or sheared most of the 24 steel bolts that held the filter housing lid in place, said Don Holmstrom, the board's lead investigator. The safety board released a copy of the statements that Holstrom said during the conference.

At the time of the explosion, Gracia was near the housing in the ultracracker unit.

The unit is across a roadway from the isomerisation unit, where another accident occurred in March 2005, causing 15 deaths and 180 injuries, the board said.

The board said the investigation of the latest fatality will likely take several months.

As part of the investigation, the board will consider the history of accidents at BP's refinery, where 41 people have died in the past 32 years.

A BP spokesman said the company had no comments in regards to the board's recent statements.

The refiner is in the process of conducting its own investigation, the spokesman said. When the investigation is complete, BP will apply what it has learned to its operations in Texas City.

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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