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Jan 8, 2013

CSB Announces Public Meeting in Washington, DC, to Release Final Report into Fatal 2011 Explosion and Fire that Fatally Injured Five Workers near Honolulu, Hawaii

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Washington, DC, January 8, 2013 - The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announces that it will hold a public meeting on January 17, 2013, to present the findings from its investigation into the April 8, 2011, explosion and fire that killed five workers at a storage facility used by Donaldson Enterprises (DEI) near Honolulu, Hawaii. The explosion took place during the disposal of professional grade fireworks that had been illegally labeled for consumer use by a manufacturer in China and then seized by federal customs agents when they were brought into the U.S.

The meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. EST in the Horizon Room of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004.

CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “The CSB’s public hearing will provide an opportunity for the public to hear the findings and formal safety recommendations resulting from the board’s investigation into the tragic 2011 accident that killed five workers.”

At the meeting CSB staff will present to the Board the results of their investigation into this incident. Key issues involved in the investigation include the methods used to dispose of the fireworks, training of company personnel, and the absence of a national standard or acceptable industry good practice for fireworks disposal.

At the conclusion of the public comment period, the Board will consider whether to approve the final report and recommendations. All staff presentations are preliminary and are intended solely to allow the Board to consider in a public forum the issues and factors involved in this case. No factual analyses, conclusions or findings presented by staff should be considered final. Only after the Board has considered the final staff presentation, listened to the public comments and approved the staff case study will there be an approved final record of this incident.

The hearing is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required; to register for the event, please send email to publicmeeting@csb.gov. Members of the audience will have an opportunity to comment on the draft report, as presented by the investigative staff.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.

For more information, contact Communications Director Hillary Cohen, (202) 261-3601, cell (202) 446-8094 or Sandy Gilmour at (202) 251-5496.

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