21 September 2012 15:00 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The three workers killed this week in an accident at SKW Piesteritz’s nitrogen fertilizer site in Wittenberg, Germany, died of suffocation, a preliminary investigation found, but the precise cause of the accident remained mysterious on Friday, officials said.
The workers, who were from an outside firm, were doing corrosion protection and sand-blasting work on the chimney of an ammonia unit when the accident occurred on Wednesday (19 September) evening, according to a report SKW posted on its website.
However, the ammonia unit had been shut down on 3 September as SKW’s ?xml:namespace>
Adding to the mystery is that the bodies of the workers were found at different levels of scaffolding on the 42-metre chimney.
Peter Pfeiffer, general manager of the maintenance firm, Korro Trend, ruled out ammonia as a cause.
Pfeiffer said that the workers were experienced, took all precautions, and were familiar with SKW’s site. Korro Trend has been working for SKW for 12 years, he added.
Investigators are now looking to see whether carbon monoxide (CO) exhaust from a diesel-powered device may have been the cause, the report said.
According to a separate report by
Police forensic experts are expected to undertake additional investigations next week.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections