CSB Investigative Team Assessing Explosions and Fire at Barton Solvents near Wichita, Kansas

July 19, 2007

Washington, DC, July 19, 2007 - An investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has been deployed to the site of Tuesday's explosions and fire at the Barton Solvents facility in Valley Center, Kansas, north of Wichita.

The three-member team, led by CSB Investigator Randy McClure, will conduct an assessment to determine if a further investigation of the root causes of the accident is warranted. The explosions and fire Tuesday led to the evacuation of thousands of residents and resulted in projectile damage offsite, as well as the destruction of the facility, reports indicate. Investigators will be at the site today to begin the assessment.

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.

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, please contact Daniel Horowitz at (202) 261-7613 / (202) 441-6074 cell.



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