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Marcus Oil and Chemical Tank Explosion
FINAL REPORT: Case Study
Location: Houston, TX
Accident Occurred On: 12/03/2004
Final Report Released On: 06/06/2006
Accident Type: Chemical Manufacturing - Fire and Explosion
Company Name: Marcus Oil

statistics

Total # of Recommendations
6
Total # of Open Recommendations
0
Total # of Closed Recommendations
6
Total % of Open 0 vs. Closed 100

investigation information

Image
Accident Description
On the evening of December 3, a storage tank failed catastrophically at the Marcus Oil and Chemical polyethylene wax facility in Houston. The blast, which was felt up to 20 miles from the plant site, ignited large fires that burned for several hours, and two firefighters were injured during the emergency response. Off-site buildings near the facility - including two churches, a house, and a social club - exhibited structural damage, such as broken windows and cracked walls.
Investigation Status
The CSB issued a case study report on this incident at a news conference in Houston on June 6, 2006.


 

Recommendations

City of Houston, TX
2005-2-I-TX-5

Amend the city building ordinances to require all newly installed pressure vessels to comply with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII.

Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action/No Response Received
Closed - Unacceptable Action/No Response Received (C - UA/NRR) - Recipient responds by expressing disagreement with the need outlined in the recommendation and the Board concludes that further correspondence on, or discussion of, the matter would not change the recipient?s position.
 

2005-2-I-TX-6

Amend the city building ordinances to require pressure vessel repairs and alterations to comply with the National Board Inspection Code (NB-23).

Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action/No Response Received
Closed - Unacceptable Action/No Response Received (C - UA/NRR) - Recipient responds by expressing disagreement with the need outlined in the recommendation and the Board concludes that further correspondence on, or discussion of, the matter would not change the recipient?s position.
 

Marcus Oil
2005-2-I-TX-1

Implement the requirements of the National Board Inspection Code (NB-23) to repair all pressure vessels that have been altered at the facility. Require the application of NB-23 to all future pressure vessel repairs and alterations

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.
 

2005-2-I-TX-2

Install pressure relief devices on all pressure vessels as required by the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII.

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.
 

2005-2-I-TX-3

Require all newly installed pressure vessels to conform to the requirements of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII.

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.
 

2005-2-I-TX-4

Train personnel on the safe operation and maintenance of the nitrogen system and the importance of controlling oxygen contamination in the inerting gas.

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 Video

Without Safeguards, Pressure Vessels Can Be Deadly
11/9/2009 5:00:00 AM
Improperly installed or modified pressure vessels have led to a number of serious chemical accidents. read more

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Related News

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Final Report from U.S. Chemical Safety Board on 2004 Explosion Calls on Houston to Enact Stricter Pressure Vessel Regulations
6/6/2006
Houston, Texas, June 6, 2006 - In its final investigation report on a December 2004 chemical plant explosion in southwest Houston, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today called on the city to adopt new safety regulations governing the construction and modification of pressure vessels - industrial process and storage containers that hold pressurized gases or liquids. The case study report issued at a news conference this morning describes the violent explosion of a 50,000-pound steel pressure vessel on the evening of December 3, 2004, at the Marcus Oil and Chemical facility on Minetta Street in southwest Houston. The explosion was felt over a wide area in Houston and ignited a fire that burned for seven hours. Three Houston firefighters were slightly injured during the response to the blaze. Several residents sustained cuts from flying glass, and steel fragments from the explosion were thrown up to a quarter-mile from the plant. Building and car windows were shattered, and nearby buildings experienced significant structural and interior damage.
read more
Board Pursues Testing of Equipment Involved in Dec. 3 Marcus Oil and Chemical Accident
3/4/2005
Washington, DC, March 4, 2005 - The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is conducting extensive physical testing of equipment and materials to help determine the causes of the December 3, 2004, tank explosion and fire at the Marcus Oil and Chemical facility in southwest Houston.
read more
Board to Conduct Full Investigation of Tank Explosion at Marcus Oil and Chemical
12/10/2004
Washington, DC, December 10, 2004 - The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announced today that it is conducting a full investigation of last week's tank explosion at the Marcus Oil and Chemical facility in southwest Houston. The blast on the evening of December 3 was felt up to 20 miles from the plant site. CSB investigators believe the accident occurred when a 40,000-gallon chemical storage tank exploded violently. The tank was approximately 10% full at the time of the
read more
 
 
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