Washington, DC, December 3, 2004 - The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announced it is a sending an investigative team to the site of this evening's explosions at a southwest Houston chemical plant. The initial explosion at the Marcus Oil and Chemical facility was reported around 6 p.m. local time.
CSB Board member John Bresland will be accompany on Saturday.
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.
Houston: Jean Gonsoulin 713-202-0972
Washington, DC: Daniel Horowitz 202-441-6074 or Sandy Gilmour 202-251-5496.