Washington, D.C. June 15 ,2006 - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) deployed an investigation team to Illinois today to conduct an assessment of the chemical explosion and fire at Universal Form Clamp Co., located in Bellwood, a suburb of Chicago.
Media reports indicate that a chemical explosion ignited the fire around 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14, 2006, at Universal Clamp. Over 200 workers were evacuated from the factory, and five people were seriously injured.
The CSB team, led by investigator Randy McClure, will include investigators Jeffrey Wanko and Katherine Leskin. The team will arrive in Illinois this evening.
The investigators will collect information that will assist the Board in deciding whether to conduct a full investigation of the 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 safety management systems, regulations, and industry standards.
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, www.csb.gov.
For more information, contact: Public Affairs Specialists Kara Wenzel (202) 261-7642, or (202) 577-8448 cell; or Jennifer Jones (202) 261-3603, or (202) 329-5335 cell.