The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) asked Silver Eagle Refinery in Utah to stand down from operations until the “integrity and fitness” of company equipment can be verified and documented.
John Bresland, the chairman of OSHA said,
“Over the past several days, the CSB team has developed a number of serious concerns about the integrity of the piping and equipment at various locations in the plant. These concerns include a lack of required documentation and a lack of needed calculations of the fitness for service of various pieces of equipment.”
CSB was started in 1998–this is the first time they have asked a company to shut down operations.
Utah’s OSHA director Louis Silva agreed with the temporary shutdown.
Refinery officials said they had already begun the suspension of certain processing units before the CSB request and will suspend other refining processing units in an orderly and safe fashion.
“We have decided to do this because our top priority is the health and safety of our employees and the community,”
Silver Eagle Refining President Dave McSwain said.
“We believe this is the best decision given the circumstances. We are committed to being a responsible business in the community and being a contributor to an important industry sector,” he said. “We take our operating responsibility very seriously.”
According to the CSB preliminary report, the explosion occurred when a 10-inch pipe failed catastrophically, spewing hydrogen onto a nearby heater. The mid-morning explosion forced four families to leave damaged homes. The families were temporarily being housed with Silver Eagle support.
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November 16, 2009