In connection with its investigation into a violent explosion that occurred in a chemical distillation tower at First Chemical Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on October 13, 2002, the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board announces that it will convene a Public Meeting beginning at 9:30 a.m. local time on October 15, at the LaFont Inn, Highway 90, Pascagoula, Mississippi 39595.
The explosion occurred in a chemical distillation tower, sending heavy debris over a wide area. No one was seriously injured or killed in the incident, which occurred early on a Sunday morning. One nitrotoluene storage tank at the site was punctured by explosion debris, igniting a fire that burned for several hours. Three out of the 23 workers on site at the time of the incident received minor injuries, and nearby residents were temporarily sheltered in place. A producer of aniline and nitrotoluene derivatives and intermediates, First Chemical Corp. is a subsidiary of ChemFirst Inc., which was acquired by Dupont after the accident.
At the meeting CSB staff will present to the Board the results of their investigation into this incident, including an analysis of the incident together with a discussion of the key findings, root and contributing causes, and draft recommendations.
Recommendations are issued by a vote of the Board and address an identified safety deficiency uncovered during the investigation, and specify how to correct the situation. Safety recommendations are the primary tool used by the Board to motivate implementation of safety improvements and prevent future incidents. The CSB uses its unique independent accident investigation perspective to identify trends or issues that might otherwise be overlooked. CSB recommendations may be directed to corporations, trade associations, government entities, safety organizations, labor unions and others.
After the staff presentation, the Board will allow a time for public comment. Following the conclusion of the public comment period, the Board will consider whether to vote to approve the final report and recommendations. When a report and its recommendations are approved, this will begin CSB's process for disseminating the findings and recommendations of the report not only to the recipients of recommendations but also to other public and industry sectors. The CSB believes that this process will ultimately lead to the adoption of recommendations and the growing body of safety knowledge in the industry, which, in turn, should save future lives and property.
All staff presentations are preliminary and are intended solely to allow the Board to consider in a public forum the issues and factors involved in this case. No factual analyses, conclusions or findings should be considered final. Only after the Board has considered the staff presentation and approved the staff report will there be an approved final record of this incident.
The meeting will be open to the public. Please notify CSB if a translator or interpreter is needed, at least 5 business days prior to the public meeting. For more information, please contact the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board at (202)-261-7600, or visit our Web site at: http://www.csb.gov.Start Signature
[FR Doc. 03-25597 Filed 10-6-03; 10:38 am]
BILLING CODE 6350-01-P