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Concept Sciences Hydroxylamine Explosion
FINAL REPORT: Concept Sciences Case Study
Location: Allentown, PA
Incident Occurred On: 02/19/1999
Final Report Released On: 02/01/2002
Incident Type: Reactive Incident
Company Name: Concept Sciences Inc.

investigation information

Incident Description
On February 19, 1999, a process vessel containing several hundred pounds of hydroxylamine exploded at the Concept Sciences Inc. production facility near Allentown, Pennsylvania. Employees were distilling an aqueous solution of hydroxylamine and potassium sulfate, the first commercial batch to be processed at the facility. After the distillation process was shut down, the HA in the process tank and associated piping explosively decomposed, most likely due to high concentration and temperature. Four CSI employees and a manager of an adjacent business were killed. Two CSI employees survived the blast with moderate-to-serious injuries. Four people in nearby buildings were injured. The explosion also caused significant damage to other buildings in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park and shattered windows in several nearby homes.
Investigation Status
The CSB approved a Case Study on this incident on February 1, 2002.



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