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Mar 22, 2011

CSB Investigators Deploying to Fatal Explosion and Fire in Louisville Kentucky

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Washington DC, March 22, 2011– The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), is deploying to the scene of a fatal accident at Carbide Industries, a producer of calcium carbide products located in Louisville, Kentucky.
Two workers were killed and two others injured Monday evening as a result of a fire and explosion that occurred at the facility. According to emergency responders at the scene of the incident both of the fatally injured workers were located inside a control room at the time of the accident.
The CSB team will be led by Investigations Supervisor John Vorderbrueggen, P.E., and is scheduled to arrive in Louisville tomorrow afternoon. Investigators will be accompanied by CSB Board Member Mark Griffon.
Board Member Mark Griffon said, “CSB investigations look at a wide range of issues. Previous CSB investigations have included assessing a plant’s facility siting practices and examining the location of occupied buildings such as control rooms.” 
According to the company’s website, Carbide Industries primarily produces calcium carbide which is used to manufacture acetylene gas, as well as a number of specialty chemicals. In its pure form, calcium carbide is a colorless chemical compound that reacts violently with water.
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.
For more information, contact Public Affairs Specialist Amy McCormick at 202.640.8945 (traveling with the team to Kentucky) or Hillary Cohen at 202.446.8094.

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