CSB to Release Report and Findings on January 2003 Explosion and Fire at West Pharmaceutical Facility in Kinston, North Carolina, on Sept. 23

September 9, 2004

Washington, DC, September 9, 2004 - The U.S. Chemical Safety Hazard and Investigation Board (CSB) has announced a public meeting to be held on Thursday, September 23, 2004, at 7 p.m. in the Kinston High School Performing Arts Center in Kinston, NC.

In this meeting, CSB investigators will present their findings and report on the explosion and fire that occurred at the West Pharmaceutical Services facility in Kinston on January 29, 2003. The accident killed six workers, injured dozens of others, and destroyed large sections of the plant.

CSB investigators will present the Board with an analysis of the incident, a discussion of the key findings, root and contributing causes, and draft recommendations. The presentation will focus on three important safety issues: hazard recognition and communication, good engineering practice, and amendments to fire codes. There will be an opportunity for public comment after the staff presentations. Following the conclusion of the comment period, the Board will consider whether to vote on approval of the investigation report.

There are no admission requirements or fees to attend this meeting, and it is open to the public. The Kinston High School Performing Arts Center is located at 2601 North Queen Street, Kinston, NC 28501.

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. Typically, the investigations involve extensive witness interviews, examination of physical evidence, and chemical and forensic testing.

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 Daniel Horowitz at (202) 261-7613 or Sandy Gilmour at (202) 261-7614 / 202-251-5496 (cell).


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