Monday, August 13, 2012

CSB to Investigate Chevron Refinery Fire

CSB announced it is investigating the recent fire at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, CA, which took place on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. In what the agency is calling "the most serious U.S. refinery incidents in recent years," no lives were lost, however, many workers were engulfed in a vapor cloud created from a combustible hydrocarbon liquid or "gas-oil" leaked. "These workers might have been killed or severely injured, had they not escaped the cloud as the release rate escalated and the cloud ignited, shortly thereafter," CSB's Dan Tillema says.

The agency has reportedly sent seven investigators to the site and has been interviewing witnesses and examining documents related to the incident. CSB is finding so far that the incident has greatly impacted the community with "hundreds of emergency room visits by community members to reported effects of the release and fire, with symptoms ranging from anxiety to respiratory distress."