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First Chemical Corp. Reactive Chemical Explosion
Location: Pascgoula, MS
Accident Occurred On: 10/13/2002
Final Report Released On: 10/15/2003
Accident Type: Reactive Incident
Company Name: First Chemical Corporation

statistics

Total # of Recommendations
15
Total # of Open Recommendations
0
Total # of Closed Recommendations
15
Total % of Open 0 vs. Closed 100

investigation information

Image
Accident Description
On October 13, 2002, a violent explosion occurred in a chemical distillation tower at First Chemical Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi, sending heavy debris over a wide area. Three workers in the control room were injured by shattered glass. One nitrotoluene storage tank at the site was punctured by explosion debris, igniting a fire that burned for several hours.
Investigation Status
The final CSB report on this investigation was approved at a Board public meeting in Pascagoula on October 15, 2003.


 

Recommendations

American Chemistry Council (ACC)
2003-01-I-MS-10

Amend the Technical Specifications guidelines in the Responsible Care Management System to explicitly require facilities to identify findings and lessons learned from process hazard analyses and incident investigations in one unit and apply them to other equipment that processes similar material.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2003-01-I-MS-11

Ensure that ACC members understand the audit requirements of Responsible Care and accurately identify and address gaps in facility process safety programs.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2003-01-I-MS-12

Communicate the findings of this report to your membership.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

DuPont-First Chemical Pascagoula Facility
2003-01-I-MS-2

Establish a program for conducting process hazard analyses of processes involving reactive materials.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2003-01-I-MS-3

Evaluate the need for layers of protection and install appropriate safeguards, such as alarms and interlocks, to reduce the likelihood of a runaway reaction and catastrophic release of material.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2003-01-I-MS-4

Review and revise as necessary procedures for units that process highly energetic material, effectively communicate the updated procedures, and train workers appropriately. Revised procedures should include: Specific steps for isolation of energy sources. Warnings and cautions concerning process chemicals and consequences of deviations from operating limits. Critical operating limits and guidance when the limits are exceeded. Instruction on how to perform a shutdown for all foreseeable causes, to ensure proper isolation, and to continue monitoring critical parameters (such as temperature) while the column is shut down; in addition, review conditions under which material must be deinventoried (such as during extended shutdowns).

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2003-01-I-MS-5

Conduct a facility-wide survey of pressure vessels to ensure that all equipment that processes reactive materials has appropriate overpressure protection.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2003-01-I-MS-6

Identify equipment critical to safe operation of processes containing reactive materials. Upgrade the maintenance program and establish inspection schedules to ensure the integrity of such equipment.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2003-01-I-MS-7

Survey and take appropriate action to ensure that buildings occupied by plant personnel are of adequate construction and are located so as to protect people inside in the event of an explosion in equipment processing reactive materials.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

E. I. duPont de Nemours and Company
2003-01-I-MS-1

Conduct audits to ensure that the First Chemical Pascagoula facility addresses the issues detailed below. Communicate results of these audits to the workforce.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

Jackson County Board of Supervisors, Jackson County Emergency Management Agency, Jackson County Local Emergency Planning Committee
2003-01-I-MS-8

Update the community notification system to: Immediately alert residents in the Moss Point community when an incident occurs that could affect their health and safety. Determine when a community response should be initiated. Communicate the nature of the incident and the appropriate response by residents. Alert residents when the incident is over (i.e., the all-clear has sounded).

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2003-01-I-MS-9

Conduct an awareness campaign to educate residents on the proper steps for a shelter-in-place and orderly evacuation.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA)
2003-01-I-MS-13

Amend the Technical Specifications in the Responsible Care Management System to explicitly require facilities to identify findings and lessons learned from process hazard analyses and incident investigations in one unit and apply them to other equipment that processes similar material.

Status: Closed - No Longer Applicable
Closed - No Longer Applicable (C - NLA) - Due to subsequent events, the recommendation action no longer applies (e.g., the facility was destroyed or the company went out of business).
 

Download
2003-01-I-MS-14

Ensure that SOCMA members understand the audit requirements of Responsible Care and accurately identify and address gaps in facility process safety programs.

Status: Closed - No Longer Applicable
Closed - No Longer Applicable (C - NLA) - Due to subsequent events, the recommendation action no longer applies (e.g., the facility was destroyed or the company went out of business).
 

Download
2003-01-I-MS-15

Communicate the findings of this report to your membership.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

 
 

Related News

Disc111
Investigators Present Final Report On First Chemical Corp. Explosion - Cite Inadequate Safety Systems, Lack of Warning Devices
10/15/2003
(Pascagoula, Mississippi, October 15, 2003) Investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) have concluded that the October 2002 plant explosion here occurred because First Chemical Corporation had not effectively evaluated the hazards of a chemical process that ran out of control. The blast blew the top off a distillation tower that was approximately 145 feet tall and propelled tons of fiery debris in the air, raining down onto adjacent industrial facilities and narrowly missing nearby hazardous chemical tanks.
read more
Disc106
Board Members To Brief Mississippi Community on First Chemical Plant Explosion
1/10/2003
(Washington, DC - January 10, 2003) Members of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board will conduct a community meeting 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 15, at Pascagoula (Miss.) City Hall to brief officials and the public on the explosion and fire at the nearby First Chemical plant that occurred last October 13.
read more
Disc119
Board to Conduct Full Investigation of First Chem Explosion
10/23/2002
(October 23, 2002 - Washington, DC) The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) will conduct a full investigation of the October 13th distillation tower explosion at First Chemical Corp. near Pascagoula, Mississippi, where CSB investigators are continuing to conduct interviews and collect other data.
read more
 
 
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