The April 2010 explosion and fire that killed seven workers at the Tesoro Refinery in Anacortes, Wash., was caused by damage to the refinery’s carbon steel heat exchanger that led to a catastrophic rupture, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) concluded in a draft report released last week. According to CSB investigators, the fatal accident could have been prevented had the company used inherently safer—though not required—construction materials to prevent the heat exchanger from cracking. The investigation also concluded that deficiencies in the company’s safety culture, including a “complacent” attitude toward previous flammable leaks and occasional fires, contributed to the events leading up to the accident.
CSB released a new video accompanying the report that includes a computer animation that recreates the explosion and fire.
The draft report is available for public comment until March 16.
For more information, see CSB’s press release.