January 20, 2008 | Mark Paradies

Chemical Safety Board Press Release: CSB Discontinuing Two Investigations/Root Cause Analyses Due to NTSB Investigations

CSB Announces Investigations into Acetylene Trailer Fires Will Be Carried Forward by the National Transportation Safety Board

Washington, DC, January 18, 2008 – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today announced that due to the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation of the incidents, the CSB will discontinue its investigations into the July 2007 fire and explosions at Southwest Industrial Gases Inc. in Dallas, Texas and the August 2007 trailer fire at Hughes Christensen in The Woodlands, Texas. The investigation being conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will thoroughly deal with all aspects of trailer design and operating procedures.

The CSB deployed a team to the serious fire and explosions at Southwest Industrial Gases Inc. in Dallas on July 25 that caused three injuries, destroyed the facility, and forced the temporary closure of major highways. On August 9 investigators were deployed to a similar incident at the Hughes Christensen Co. manufacturing facility in The Woodlands, Texas. Both fires were found to originate from acetylene trailers owned and operated by Western International Gas and Cylinders Inc, a supplier of industrial welding gases based in Bellville, Texas.

‘Since these accidents relate to transportation and are being investigated by the NTSB we are curtailing our investigation to avoid a duplication of effort,’ said Board Member William E. Wright. ‘The CSB plans to turn over all relevant data gathered during the initial deployments to the NTSB, and we offer our support in their investigation.’

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

The CSB does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.

For more information, please contact Public Affairs Specialists Hillary Cohen at (202) 261-3601 or Jennifer Jones at (202) 261-3603.

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