CSB Sends Assessment Team to Missouri Chlorine Leak Site

August 14, 2002

(Washington, DC – August 14, 2002) The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) today dispatched two investigators to the scene of a chlorine gas leak at a rail tanker car loading facility south of St. Louis, MO.

Investigators John Murphy and Giby Joseph will perform a preliminary assessment into the cause of the hazardous leak. Depending upon the outcome, the CSB could launch a full investigation of the event.

The CSB, located in Washington, DC, is the federal agency charged with determining the root causes of chemical accidents and hazards and advocating safety recommendations to prevent recurrences.

The accident occurred at DPC Enterprises in Festus, MO, about 26 miles south of St. Louis. The company primarily distributes and repackages inorganic chemicals and compressed gases, including water treatment chemicals. The chlorine gas line ruptured on the morning of Wednesday, August 14, 2002. A large plume was visible before the leak was stopped after about two hours. The CSB investigators will examine the site and conduct preliminary interviews with plant workers during the assessment phase. Full investigations typically examine facilities, work processes, management systems and human factors in determining root causes.

For further information contact Sandy Gilmour Communications at 202-261-7614 (cell: 202-251-5496).

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