November 7, 2022 | Susan Napier-Sewell

CSB Releases BP-Husky Refining Fatal Chemical Fire Investigation Info

BP-Husky

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is releasing information related to its ongoing investigation of the chemical release and fire at the BP-Husky Refining LLC (BPHR) Toledo refinery in Oregon, Ohio.

BP-Husky Refining (BPHR) is operated by BP Products North American Inc.

At about 6:46 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, an accidental release of flammable chemicals ignited, creating a fire that fatally injured two employees and resulted in substantial property damage at the BP-Husky refinery. The CSB is examining the valves and interconnected piping associated with the refinery’s Fuel Gas Mix Drum (see Figure 1) located in the Crude 1 Unit. 


Figure 1

BP-Husky

The Fuel Gas Mix Drum was installed around 2016 and combines various sources of flammable gases for use as fuel in refinery furnaces and boilers.

The drum is primarily a vapor-filled vessel and is equipped with features to remove liquids that could be entrained with vapor or that otherwise enter the refinery’s fuel gas system.

CSB investigators are focusing on a release of flammable naphtha from the Fuel Gas Mix Drum, based on information from various sources at the BP-Husky refinery. Access to the area surrounding the Fuel Gas Mix Drum is currently restricted due to the presence of asbestos fibers.

The CSB team investigating the BP-Husky fire is conducting witness and employee interviews, documenting the incident scene, collecting equipment and equipment components, obtaining documents, and evaluating recorded process data.

The CSB team has already interviewed more than 80 people and anticipates interviewing 20-30 more.

  • BP, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the United Steelworkers International and Local 1-346 are conducting parallel investigations of the incident.
  • The CSB, OSHA, and BP-Husky Refining LLC signed an evidence and site control agreement to preserve evidence.
  • BP, OSHA, and the United Steelworkers, which represents hourly workers at the refinery, have been cooperating with the CSB team. 

The CSB will continue providing updates as the investigation progresses and additional information becomes available. 

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