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Apr 24, 2007

CSB Posts Korean-Language Version of BP Refinery Explosion Animation


Washington, DC, April 24, 2007 - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has posted on a Korean translation of the animation depicting the BP Texas City refinery explosion. This will mark the fourth non-English translation of the BP animation available on the website. It has also been also translated into German, French, and Spanish. These, as well as all CSB safety videos may be viewed at / Video Room.

The new Korean-language video was translated and narrated by a visiting researcher-in-residence at the CSB, Kyeong-Sung Lee. Mr. Lee is the manager of the technical expert department of the Korean Occupational Safety and Heath Agency (KOSHA) in South Korea. Mr. Lee is working with the CSB to research the agency's incident investigation system and other topics. He intends to develop new KOSHA incident investigation systems based on those of the CSB.

Mr. Lee said, "The Korean-language version of the CSB video will be of great importance to chemical workers in Korea, as we have the fifth largest capacity of chemical production in the world. It will be instrumental in the promotion of safety and health in Korean facilities that may have the potential for chemical disaster."

The video, which includes a computer-generated animation sequence, illustrates how the refinery's raffinate splitter tower was overfilled, how instruments and alarms failed to indicate the dangerous condition, and how a connected blowdown drum and vent stack released flammable liquid and vapor which exploded. Also shown are still photographs and video footage illustrating the destruction caused by the accident that killed 15 workers and injured 180 others.

CSB Chairman Carolyn W. Merritt said, "There is a need for oil and chemical industry workers of all nations to be informed about the hazards that may lie within any chemical plant. We hope that Korean workers and managers learn from this translated video. This video- in any language - clearly explains the events that preceded the explosion at BP's Texas City refinery. I believe that prudent managers reviewing this video will ask themselves, Could this possibly happen here? And if they find places where the same problems could exist, we hope they will address them to prevent catastrophic events at their own facilities."

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,

For more information, contact:

Sandy Gilmour, 202-261-7614, cell 202-251-5496, Public Affairs Specialist

Kate Baumann 202-261-7612, cell 202-725-2204, Public Affairs Specialist

Dr. Daniel Horowitz, 202-261-7613, cell 202-441-6074, Director of Public Affairs





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