Accident: Marcus Oil and Chemical Tank Explosion
Location: Location: Houston, TX
Accident Occurred On: 12/03/2004 | Final Report Released On: 06/06/2006
Accident Type: Chemical Manufacturing - Fire and Explosion
Investigation Status: The CSB issued a case study report on this incident at a news conference in Houston on June 6, 2006.
On the evening of December 3, a storage tank failed catastrophically at the Marcus Oil and Chemical polyethylene wax facility in Houston. The blast, which was felt up to 20 miles from the plant site, ignited large fires that burned for several hours, and two firefighters were injured during the emergency response. Off-site buildings near the facility - including two churches, a house, and a social club - exhibited structural damage, such as broken windows and cracked walls.
Amend the city building ordinances to require all newly installed pressure vessels to comply with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII.
Amend the city building ordinances to require pressure vessel repairs and alterations to comply with the National Board Inspection Code (NB-23).
Implement the requirements of the National Board Inspection Code (NB-23) to repair all pressure vessels that have been altered at the facility. Require the application of NB-23 to all future pressure vessel repairs and alterations
Install pressure relief devices on all pressure vessels as required by the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII.
Require all newly installed pressure vessels to conform to the requirements of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII.
Train personnel on the safe operation and maintenance of the nitrogen system and the importance of controlling oxygen contamination in the inerting gas.