Washington, DC, August 30, 2016 -- An investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is deploying to the scene of an incident that fatally injured one worker at the Airgas facility next to the Ascend Performance Materials plant in Cantonment, Florida, outside Pensacola. Airgas makes nitrous oxide using materials supplied by the nearby Ascend plant.
The incident occurred on Sunday, August 28, 2016. According to initial inquiries, the explosion involved nitrous oxide tanks in the loading bay, where the incident is said to have taken place.
The investigative team will be led by Investigator-in-Charge Dan Tillema. Chairperson Vanessa Sutherland said, “Our condolences to the family suffering this tragic loss. The CSB’s accident investigation will determine the root cause of this fatal incident.”
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.
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