Several lightning strikes were recorded in a refinery at 7:25 pm, one of which caused the expansion space to explode on a 2,000-m³ capacity buffer tank (for collection and settlement) filled with 770 m³ of process water. The hydrocarbon supernatants present in the tank due to malfunction of the fractionation process (stripper) exploded and ignited. The refinery operator activated the internal emergency plan at 7:45 pm and shut down several production units; the Prefecture contacted the Departmental Operations Centre at 8:09 pm. Also, at 8 pm, [...]
During transfer of a hydrocarbon mix from a river barge to a refinery storage zone, a defect at the level of the pipe compensator caused a leak around 3 am.
A number of steps had been taken the day before to prepare for this transfer of 500 tonnes of n-alcanes C5-C6 (an easily flammable liquid, highly toxic for aquatic organisms) from a barge into a 1,000-m³ capacity fixed-roof tank. A hose (DN 80) had been installed on a pipe rack (DN 150) connection to hook up the tank. A checklist describing all the manual steps was followed and inspections [...]
At 11.57 AM a power failure occurred in a refinery. The supply of electrical power was cut off, as a result of the failure of the main power line during maintenance. Because of this the refinery was almost completely powerless, which led to an emergency shut down of the whole plant. The automatically operated safety systems started working : large quantities of products were dumped in the emergency torch and were burnt off. Safety valves opened and released gasses to the atmosphere. Personnel and people working at the refinery were evacuated an [...]
While loading 31,000 m3 of bunker fuel in a ship, a leak in a refinery transfer hose resulted in a major oil spill in the Loire estuary.
At 4.10 pm, a person on a barge observed the presence of hydrocarbons on the water surface and sounded the alert. At around 4.45 pm, a roundsman identified and isolated the leak at 500 m upstream to where the hydrocarbons were detected.
The internal contingency plan was triggered at 5.00 pm and the inspection authorities of classified facilities were informed. A recovery ship was stationed at the mouth of the [...]
A fire broke out in a refinery at 10.15 am in the ETX2 oil aromatic extraction unit, using N-Methyl Pyrrolidone (NMP).After having been shut down for regulator inspection and work, the unit resumed operations on April 19th, then when into production phase on April 20th. A fire developed on April 21st, with flames shooting 15 m high followed by periods of the fire decreasing then starting up again.The operator used the establishment's fixed and mobile firefighting means, including two emulsifier nozzles (450 l/min.) to cool and protect the structu [...]
Two technicians working with a subcontractor died from anoxia in a refinery while carrying out maintenance work on a down reactor that was part of a hydrocracking unit.
One of the technicians descended (or perhaps fell?) into a reactor filled with a nitrogen atmosphere in order to recover a roll of adhesive tape left inside and lost consciousness. The second employee on the exterior platform climbed down into the reactor to rescue his colleague and became unconscious as well. A third technician on the scene sounded the alarm. The emergency respo [...]
In a refinery, 10 to 20 t of gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons were released in 5 minutes starting at 4.46 pm by 3 of the 5 valves of the atmospheric distillation unit during restart operations.At 6 pm, the firemen notified the Classified Installations Inspectorate which observed a deviation from the prefectoral order governing the site: The valves were not connected to the site's flare-stack network.The accident was caused by a series of errors relative to the restart procedures and in the transmission of information between and within the shift [...]