Fire And Chemical Disasters Case Study

Length: 4 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Energy Type: Case Study Paper: #34533630 Related Topics: Fire Prevention, Fire Safety, Osha, Accident Investigation
Excerpt from Case Study :

¶ … Hazardous Materials Incident

Key Lessons for Preventing Hydraulic Shock and New Cumberland, WV Metal Dust Explosion and Fire are two case studies that will be examined in this report. One examines a metal dust explosion and fire and the other involves a pipe that catastrophically failed thus leading to the release of more than 32,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia. Each also gives formal detailed reports on significant chemical accidents and include key findings, root causes, and safety recommendations. With that said, this essay will summarize the findings of each investigation, and compare and contrast the two incidents with respect to the chemicals involved, underlying hazards, accident causes, and recommendations from the CSB.

Casse study one: The New Cumberland, West Virginia Fire Explosion

This case study examines a metal dust explosion and fire at the AL Solutions facility in New Cumberland, West Virginia. The incident resulted in three employee fatalities and one contractor injury. The explosion and ensuing fire damaged the production building and ultimately caused the shutdown of the plant.


The New Cumberland production facility is a place that was operated all day everyday 7 days a week non-stop. The company had processing equipment for metal milling, blending, pressing, and treatment for water. A normal shift, involved four operators that managed the production building which involved the following: two press operators, one blender operator, and the shift supervisor. Usually, the shift supervisor was in charge of the water treatment and mill. When it was about 12 noon, on the day of the disaster, the day shift operators came back to work...


At this time, two operators were operating the three presses making titanium and zirconium compacts, and another operator was at the blender, blending a batch of zirconium. When the clock struck 1:20 P.M., directly before the outburst, an electrical contractor spotted around 6 feet outside a partly open door heard a loud noise that he described to U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) investigators as a "metallic failure & #8230; like something popped & #8230; or fell." (AL Solutions Case Study, 2010)

Casse study Two: Millard Refrigerated Hydraulic Shock Catastrophe

This case study examines the shock disaster that took place at Theodore, Alabama, On August 23, 2010, at the Millard Refrigerated Company. A roof-attached 12-inch suction pipe to disastrously fail leading to the release of over and above 32,000 pounds of ammonia.


In a moment before 9:00 AM on the daybreak of August 23, 2010, the company was in the development of trying to load two global ships that contained frozen chickens when the facility's refrigeration system hit a hydraulic shock incident that caused a catastrophic piping system to completely just shutdown out of nowhere thus releasing some 32,100 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in the air. The bulk of the fumes from ammonia discharged in this incident happened through a compromised share of the system's 12-inch suction pipe positioned on the rooftop. The stemming mist of ammonia gas traveled 0.25 miles to the south across the Theodore Industrial Canal, exposing a Millard employee and offsite contractors working outdoors (Hydraulic Shock Safety Bulletin, 2015). At around the same time, alarms went off all over the place within the plant because of the detection of high concentrations of ammonia in doors by air-monitoring apparatus in the freezers. The ammonia noticed within the facility was the outcome of a second leak that occurred for the reason that a portion of the system's blast freezer evaporator header ruptured (Hydraulic Shock Safety Bulletin, 2015).


It is clear that case study one, hazards were because of a lot of dust that that piled up over a long period of time. For example, the case study explored that most solid organic materials (and numerous metals and some nonmetallic inorganic materials) will explode or burn if delicately divided and distributed in adequate dilutions. Even apparently small amounts of collected dust can cause catastrophic injury. Eliminating any one of these basics of the classic fire triangle eradicates the likelihood of a fire. However, it was different in case study two because mixing together chemicals at high speed was dangerous, especially if not monitored properly was the issue. The failure at Millard was likely caused by a…

Sources Used in Documents:


AL Solutions Case Study. (2010, December 7). AL Solutions, Inc., New Cumberland, WV Metal Dust Explosion and Fire. U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

Hydraulic Shock Safety Bulletin. (2015, January 5). Key Lessons for Preventing Hydraulic Shock. U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

Cite this Document:

"Fire And Chemical Disasters" (2015, August 17) Retrieved January 27, 2022, from

"Fire And Chemical Disasters" 17 August 2015. Web.27 January. 2022. <>

"Fire And Chemical Disasters", 17 August 2015, Accessed.27 January. 2022,

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