CSB Deploys Investigation Team to Fatal Blast at Tesoro Refinery

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has deployed a four-member investigation team to the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., following an April 2 explosion and fire at the plant’s naphtha hydrotreater unit. Five workers were reported to be killed from the blast and two remain hospitalized for burns.

Currently, the board is investigating an October 2009 flash fire at a Tesoro refinery in Salt Lake City that occurred when flammable liquid overfilled a flare stack and ignited.

CSB Chairman and CEO John Bresland said, “The CSB has 18 ongoing investigations. Of those, seven of these accidents occurred at refineries across the country. This is a significant and disturbing trend that the refining industry needs to address immediately.”

Robert Hall, PE, CSB Investigations supervisor, and William B. Wark, CSB board member, are part of the investigation team.

Bresland said the large-scale deployment to Washington will further complicate efforts to complete other important cases, including CSB’s investigations of the Caribbean Petroleum fuel terminal fire near San Juan, Puerto Rico; the CITGO refinery hydrogen fluoride release and fire in Corpus Christi, Texas; the Goodyear heat exchanger rupture and ammonia release in Houston; and the Exxon Mobil refinery hydrogen fluoride release in Joliet, Ill.

Tesoro Corp. is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, and, through its subsidiaries, operates seven refineries in the western U.S.

Visit CSB’s Web site, www.csb.gov, for more information.

Tesoro’s Web site: www.tsocorp.com/TSOCORP/index.htm.

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