CSB Investigating Similarities Between Fire Incidents

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) reported today that an investigative team has been deployed to the site of Tuesday's acetylene fire at the Hughes Christensen Co. manufacturing facility in The Woodlands, Texas, a suburb of Houston. A CSB team was deployed to a similar incident that involved several explosions and fire at Southwest Industrial Gases Inc. in Dallas on July 25, which caused three injuries, destroyed the facility, and forced the temporary closure of major highways.

Preliminary examination of news video, CSB says, suggests the involvement of a similar delivery trailer of Western International Gas and Cylinders Inc. in both incidents. The trailers in the Dallas incident were destroyed by the fire. This week's incident reportedly resulted in the evacuation of 800 employees, CSB added.

"We will be examining the Hughes Christensen incident to see if there are further similarities to the Dallas fire," said CSB Investigator Robert Hall, P.E., who will lead the three-member investigative team.

Hughes Christensen Co. is an oil drilling bit manufacturer. The company is a subsidiary of Baker Hughes Inc., a Houston-based oil field service company. Western International Gas and Cylinders Inc. is a supplier of industrial welding gases based in Belleville, Texas.

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