An independent federal agency investigating chemical accidents to protect workers, the public, and the environment.

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Use of community notification systems:



Incident Description

Honeywell Chemical Incidents

Incident Description:On July 20, 2003, there was a release of chlorine gas from the Honeywell refrigerant manufacturing plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The accident resulted in the hospitalization of four plant workers and required residents within a half-mile radius to shelter in their homes. On July 29, 2003, a worker was fatally injured by exposure to antimony pentachloride when a gas cylinder released its contents to the atmosphere. On August 13, 2003, two plant workers were exposed to hydrofluoric acid, and one was hospitalized. There was a significant delay between the Honeywell report of an incident and the Baton Rouge Fire Department activation of the shelter-in-place alert.


DPC Enterprises Festus Chlorine Release

Incident Description:On August 14, 2002, a chlorine transfer hose ruptured during a rail car unloading operation at the DPC Enterprises chlorine repackaging facility near Festus, Missouri. The hose rupture ultimately led to the release of 48,000 pounds of chlorine, causing three workers and 63 residents to seek medical treatment. The CSB found that DPC lacked an effective testing and inspection program for its chlorine emergency shutdown system. Emergency shutdown valves failed to close properly once the chlorine leak had begun, greatly extending the duration and severity of the release. Investigators concluded that the valves were inoperable due to internal system corrosion, in turn caused by inadvertent introduction of moisture into the chlorine system. DPC's testing and inspection program was inadequate to uncover the faulty condition of the valves before the accident occurred. The emergency response plan was inadequate in several areas including community notification, access to equipment, etc.

First Chemical Corp. Reactive Chemical Explosion

Incident 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. The community notification system did not adequately warn residents that an incident was ongoing, explain how to shelter-in-place, or let them know when the emergency had subsided.


Last updated September 06, 2017





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