(Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 2003) The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has deployed an investigation team to conduct a preliminary investigation into the chlorine release which occurred at the DPC Enterprises facility in Glendale, AZ, yesterday.
The release, which caused authorities to evacuate citizens from the immediate area and close neighboring streets for hours, occurred as chlorine was being transferred from a railroad tank car to a tanker truck on the site.
According to news media reports, 14 people, including 10 Glendale police officers, were treated for chlorine related symptoms, including nausea, throat irritation, and headaches.
CSB Board Member John Bresland will accompany lead investigator John Murphy and investigator Michael Morris. They are expected to arrive in Phoenix this evening. The preliminary investigation will determine whether circumstances warrant a full-scale investigation.
"Chlorine is a dangerous chemical if not handled correctly and one which can have tragic consequences for workers and citizens who may be affected by chlorine leaks," said Mr. Bresland. Noting that the CSB completed an investigation earlier this year on a massive chlorine leak at a DPC Enterprises facility south of St. Louis, Mr. Bresland added, "We will be investigating to determine how this leak occurred, how it was stopped, how the public was impacted, and how well the emergency response system worked."
Further information about the earlier DPC incident is available at www.csb.gov under "Completed Investigations."
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. CSB investigations look into all aspects of such events, 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, call Sandy Gilmour Communications, 202-261-7614 CELL: 202-251-5496. Media Coordinator in Phoenix: SGC Associate Dana Weidaw, 480.361.8104 CELL 602.402.2200