Accident Description

Accident: Motiva Enterprises Sulfuric Acid Tank Explosion

Location: Location: Delaware City, DE

Accident Occurred On: 07/17/2001 | Final Report Released On: 08/28/2002

Accident Type: Hot Work - Explosion and Fire

Investigation Status: The final report on this investigation was approved on August 28, 2002.

On July 17, 2001, an explosion occurred at the Motiva Enterprises refinery in Delaware City, Delaware. A work crew had been repairing a catwalk above a sulfuric acid storage tank farm when a spark from their hot work ignited flammable vapors in one of the tanks. This tank had holes in its roof and shell due to corrosion. The tank collapsed, and one the contract workers was killed; eight others were injured. A significant volume of sulfuric acid was released to the environment.