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10594 Chemical accident in USA with benzine (fp<21/c) (gasoline)
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General accident information
Class/Quality * * * *
Year 1989
Summary Pipeline exploded due to dama-
Ge as a result of a train
Wreck 2/Weeks earlier causing
33 casualties
Country USA
Chemicals Benzine (fp<21/C) (gasoline)
Cause Human-failure
Fatalities/Injuries 2 / 31
Occurrences or events Burst/Rupture, Collapse/Destroy, Damage, Defective-working,
Emergency-stop, Explosion, Fire, Fire fighting/Emergency response,
Fireball, Human-operations, Ignition, Pollution/Contamination,
Release, Release, Remove, Vaporize,
Wrong-action, Wrong-action, Wrong-action, Wrong-action,
Full accident information 
download accident report Click here to view a document containing the full accident information

Date : 1989 0525

Explosion destroyed a row of houses following leakage from a 356/mm pipeline (length: 402/km) carrying gasoline (petroleum) in the same area where a runaway freight train derailed 2 weeks earlier. See acc.nr. # 10742.
The pipeline was only spot-checked and pot holing every 15/m and no hydrostatic testing was made.
Because of the leakage (spout like a fountain) the computerized pipe control system automatically shut off the pumping. The pipeline operator tried to restart the pumps 3 times. The vapour cloud was ignited causing an explosion and fireball, which destroyed 11 homes and damaged 4 homes.
An all clear check valve (model ACB-976) failed to close twice. Because of the back flow of 13/km pipeline 1287/m3 of gasoline released.
150 firefighters fought the fire with 25 engines for 14/hours. To avoid the possibility of another explosion the fire was allowed to burn until the flow of fuel could be contained. It was till burning 8/hours after the blast.
2-3 residents were killed and 31 others were injured.
Despite public protest the pipeline was reconstructed on the same spot.
Claims of 100E+6 USA dollars were expected.

Lessons learned
Design pipeline by registered professional engineers.
Better pipeline location policy.
Pressure limit and deeper burial for pipelines in urban areas.
Regular and better check valve operation and maintenance.

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