CSB Investigative Team Deploys to BP Texas City Refinery, Site of Fatal Accident This Week

January 17, 2008

Washington, DC, January 17, 2008 - An investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is deploying to the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, where an employee was killed in a process-related accident in an ultracracker unit on Monday.

BP officials today informed the Board that a chemical explosion may have been involved in the overpressure event leading to the death of the employee. Earlier reports had suggested that water pressure was responsible.

CSB Supervisory Investigator Don Holmstrom, who led the CSB's two-year investigation of the 2005 fatal explosion at the Texas City refinery, will head the team. The team is expected to arrive at the site on Friday.

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, contact Director of Public Affairs Dr. Daniel Horowitz, 202-441-6074 (cell) or Hillary Cohen at 202-446-8094 (cell).

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