Washington, DC, July 17, 2006 - The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) today posted on the agency's website a German translation of the narrated video of the accident at BP's Texas City refinery which occurred March 2005. This video, as well as the eight English language CSB Safety Videos, may be viewed online at the Video Room on CSB.gov.
CSB Chairman Carolyn W. Merritt said, "The CSB thanks Bayernoil Raffineriegesellschaft mbH, Ingolstadt, Germany, for producing and sharing this German-language translation of the CSB's BP Texas City animation video. This video has learning potential in any country with industrial chemical processes. We hope this video will have further impact on non-English speakers in the worldwide community, in order to help prevent this type of accident from ever happening again."
The video, which includes a computer-generated animation sequence, illustrates how the refinery's raffinate splitter tower was overfilled, how instruments and alarms failed to indicate the dangerous condition, and how a connected blowdown drum and vent stack released flammable liquid and vapor which exploded. Also shown are still photographs and video illustrating the destruction caused by the accident, which killed 15 workers and injured 170. The English language video is narrated by Don Holmstrom, lead CSB investigator for the BP investigation.
The English-language version of the video has been widely used by the industry. Since first posted on CSB.gov, this video has been viewed almost 350,000 times. Free DVD copies of all English version videos are available by filling out the online request form.
"This video clearly explains the many problems that preceded this event. I believe that prudent managers reviewing this video will ask themselves, 'Could this possibly happen here?' and if they find places where the same problems could exist, they will address them to prevent catastrophic events at their own facilities," stated Chairman Merritt. 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. Please visit our website, www.CSB.gov. For more information, contact Lindsey Heyl, 202-261-3614 / 202-725-2204 (cell), or Sandy Gilmour, 202-261-7614 / 202-251-5496 (cell).