At 11:56 pm., an explosion and subsequent fire occurred in a synthetic resins production plant. An operator confused rosin with maleic anhydride as raw material. The faulty command was not detected from the poorly designed process control system (PCS). When the other chemicals were added, it started a violent runaway reaction (decomposition of maleic anhydride). The temperature and pressure increase first opened the safety valve, then caused the bursting of the manhole cover. Gases were ejected and ignited in a confined area, leading to an explosion (VCE) that destructed part of the installation. The related costs were estimated at 50 M euros ; 8 employees were injured and hospitalised. The unit was secured (shutting of the supply lines), nearby roads were closed and the neighbourhood was informed by means of sirens and broadcast ; yet, 5 persons off-site suffered from coughing caused by irritation of their respiratory tracts. The extinguishing water were contained.
The plant operator will organise a safety assessment of existing processes (especially in case of other mix-ups of raw materials).