September 6, 2006 | Mark Paradies

CSB PRESS RELEASE: CSB Posts Spanish-Language Version of Agency’s Animation of BP Texas City Explosion Events; May Be Downloaded for Training


The following message is from the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, Washington D.C.

CSB Posts Spanish-Language Version of Agency’s Animation of BP Texas City Explosion Events; May Be Downloaded for Training

Washington, DC, September 5, 2006 – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has posted on its website a Spanish translation of the narrated video of the accident at BP’s Texas City refinery which occurred March 23, 2005. This video, as well as eight English-language CSB safety videos, may be viewed online in the Video Room at

CSB Chairman Carolyn W. Merritt said, ‘There are many Spanish-speaking workers in the oil and chemical industry in the United States – and throughout Latin America – and we offer this translated version in hopes that safety managers and others will have an additional tool for training and other safety uses. We thank former CSB Board Member Rixio Medina for providing the translation, which has been recorded by a professional narrator in Spanish.’

The video, which includes a computer-generated animation sequence, illustrates how the refinery’s raffinate splitter tower was overfilled, how instruments and alarms failed to indicate the dangerous condition, and how a connected blowdown drum and vent stack released flammable liquid and vapor which exploded. Also shown are still photographs and video illustrating the destruction caused by the accident, which killed 15 workers and injured 170 others. The English-language video is narrated by Don Holmstrom, lead CSB investigator for the BP investigation.

The English version of the video has been widely used by the industry. Since first posted on, this video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Free DVD copies of all English version videos are available by filling out the online request form.

The video has also been translated into German and will soon be available in French.

‘This video – in any language – clearly explains the many problems that preceded this event. I believe that prudent managers reviewing this video will ask themselves, ‘Could this possibly happen here?’ And if they find places where the same problems could exist, we hope they will address them to prevent catastrophic events at their own facilities,’ stated Chairman Merritt.

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 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. Please visit our website, For more information, contact Lindsey Heyl, 202-261-3614 / 202-725-2204 (cell), or Sandy Gilmour, 202-261-7614 / 202-251-5496 (cell).

This message was transmitted at 6:14 PM Eastern Time (U.S.A.) on September 5, 2006.

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