PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our free e-book! Surface Preparation & Safety

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Refinery Tank Blast Kills 3 Painters

Monday, June 6, 2011

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

UK authorities are investigating the deaths of three painters and another employee in a Chevron oil refinery explosion that also critically injured a fifth worker.

Police teams worked over the weekend to recover the bodies of three male painters who were performing maintenance work on a storage tank when the blast occurred about 6:20 p.m. local time (1:20 p.m. EDT) Thursday at the refinery in Pembroke Dock, south Wales.

A fourth employee, described as a woman on fire-watch duty, also perished in the explosion. A fifth worker, whose job was not immediately known, was in critical condition with severe burns at an area hospital.

 The Pembroke refinery
The Pembroke refinery has 140 storage tanks in six “tank farms” and employs 1,400 people. 

All of the victims were from Pembrokeshire county, and all were contractors, officials said. Neither the workers’ names nor their employer’s identity were immediately released.

The Pembrokeshire peninsula is home to many petrochemical and liquid natural gas industry facilities.

‘A Full Investigation’

The cause of the blast and subsequent fire—the U.K.’s worst refinery disaster since 1974—is not known.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing a “massive bang” and saw plumes of black smoke following the blast, the BBC reported.

Police and Britain’s Health and Safety Executive are investigating. (HSE is the UK’s occupational safety and health agency.) In addition, Chevron said it would dispatch some of its U.S.-based experts to help in the inquiry.

“The loss of our co-workers has come as a huge shock to us all,” refinery general manager Greg Hanggi said in a statement. “We will take every step possible to determine the series of events that led to this tragic incident and ensure that any lessons learnt from it will be integrated into the business and shared with our industry partners.”

P. Simon Hart, a local Member of Parliament who represents the area, said he had been “assured that a full investigation will be taking place.” He added: “We live alongside these industrial giants that provide so much work for the county, and few of us think of the risks that come with working there.”

‘Working in a Time Bomb’

Police worked over the weekend to remove the victims’ bodies—”a slow and methodical process,” they said, due to the nature of what officials called a “tragic industrial accident.”

Tony Spicer, 75, a former welder at the site, told a local newspaper that refinery work was like “working within a time-bomb—and at any time, something can go wrong.”

The refinery has more than 140 storage tanks in six so-called tank farms, according to Chevron. The tank that exploded did not contain crude, officials said, but no information was immediately available on what, if anything, it held at the time of the blast.

 The Pembrokeshire region

 dyfedarchaeology.org

The Pembrokeshire region, on the Milford Haven Waterway, is home to many petrochemical and liquid natural gas plants.

The refinery reopened Friday, with most of its 1,400 employees back to work. Chevron said that the explosion would not disrupt the plant’s 210,000-barrel-a-day output and posed no risk to the public.

Police said any material released into the atmosphere was “immediately dispersed” by winds blowing offshore, away from residential areas.

Chevron Responds

Chevron said it was “hugely saddened” by the workers’ death. “Pembroke Refinery is a very close family, and this tragedy has been a great shock to everyone,” the company said in a statement.

Diesel, gasoline and jet fuels from the Pembroke refinery are distributed on the U.S. East Coast and in Britain. The refinery turns out 3.5 million gallons, or more than 13 million liters, of gasoline a day, according to Chevron.

Chevron is in the process of selling the Pembroke refinery to Valero Energy Corp., the largest U.S. crude refiner. The sale is expected to close by Sept. 30.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Contractors; Explosions; Fatalities; Health and safety; Maintenance coating work; Petrochemical Plants; Tanks and vessels

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
http://www.sspc.org/

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !


Novetas Solutions
Number 1 Crushed Glass Abrasive in America!

Manufactured from 100% Recycled Glass.
NO Crystalline Silica,
Beryllium & Arsenic
Great White Metal Finish!
4 plants on Navy QPL
Call us at 866-775-6226


RPB Respiratory
AN INSTANTLY CLEAN VISOR? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

With RPB Safety’s new Nova 3 Cassette Lens System which has been specifically designed to save you time and money! See the benefits for yourself now!


Armakleen Company, The
ARMEX when nondestructive cleaning is critical

The gentle physical propriety of baking soda but yet aggressive cleaning ability is what makes ARMEX the only choice for nondestructive abrasive blasting.


Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal

Strip it, clean it, and profile it,
all dust free! High production
rates and Blast like finishes.
Comply with new lead
standards.


Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox - One Step
Lead Abatement

Don't waste $$ on added labor steps with other methods. Don't mix, meter or apply at the job-site. Avoid strict hazardous waste rules.
Let your painters paint!


CS Unitec
Work Cleaner and Safer

CS Unitec’s Vibro-Lo low-vibration scalers offer high performance for greater productivity & improved operator comfort. Optional dust shroud. info@csunitec.com


Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC

A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com