Washington, DC, March 23, 2005 - Investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) are en route to Texas City, Texas, site of a reported explosion and fire earlier this afternoon. Texas City is near Galveston, approximately 40 miles southeast of Houston.
Investigator Angela Blair and a team of six others, including Board member John S. Bresland, will commence an assessment of the incident. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, the Board may proceed to a full investigation of the root causes, which typically takes a year or more to complete.
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.
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. Further information about the CSB is available from www.csb.gov.
For more information, contact Jean Gonsoulin in Houston at (713) 202-0972 (cell) or Sandy Gilmour in Washington, DC, at (202) 261-7614 / (202) 251-5496 (cell).