July 26, 2007 | Mark Paradies

CSB Investigative Team Heading to Major Gas Cylinder Explosion Site in Dallas, Texas to Investigate Accident and Find Root Causes

The following press release is from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, Washington DC

Washington, DC, July 25, 2007 – An investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is deploying to the site of this morning’s serious explosions and fire at the Southwest Industrial Gases gas cylinder distribution facility in Dallas.

The team of five investigators, including Supervisory Investigator Robert Hall, P.E., and Investigations Manager Stephen Selk, P.E., is expected to arrive in Dallas later today.  A CSB board member will be joining the team.

The explosions and fire were reported to cause serious injuries and to propel debris off site, forcing an evacuation and the closure of major interstate highways.

In 2006, the CSB completed an investigation of a gas cylinder distribution facility fire that occurred June 24, 2005, in downtown St. Louis at a Praxair facility, which resulted in offsite damage due to rocketing gas cylinders.  The investigation identified three other serious gas cylinder distribution facility fires in California, Oklahoma, and Arizona from 1997 to 2005.  Further information, including a safety bulletin and safety video, can be found under ‘Completed Investigations’ on the CSB website, CSB.gov, by clicking on the link for the Praxair Flammable Gas Cylinder Fire, St. Louis, Missouri.

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 Board 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 their website, www.csb.gov.

CSB Public Affairs Specialist Hillary Cohen will be accompanying the investigation team and will coordinate requests for information; Ms. Cohen can be reached at (202) 446-8094.  Other requests should be directed to CSB headquarters staff, Director of Public Affair Dr. Daniel Horowitz (202) 261-7613 / (202) 441-6074 cell, or Sandy Gilmour (202) 261-7614 / (202) 251-5496 cell.

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