November 11, 2011 | Mark Paradies

Press Release from the US Chemical Safety Board: CSB to Hold November 16, 2011, Public Meeting in Gallatin, Tennessee to Release Findings and Draft Recommendations into Three Combustible Iron Dust Related Accidents that Occurred at the Hoeganaes Plant in 2011

Washington, DC – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced that it will be holding a public meeting on November 16, 2011, in Gallatin, Tennessee to present the findings of the CSB investigative team and collect additional information on three iron dust flash fires that occurred over a five month period in 2011 at the Hoeganaes facility. Two workers were killed in the first iron dust incident on January 31, 2011, and the second iron dust incident on March 29, 2011, injured another employee. The third incident, a hydrogen explosion and resulting iron dust flash fires, claimed three lives and injured two others on May 27, 2011.

The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the EPIC Event Center, 392 and 394 West Main St., Gallatin, TN 37066.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required, but to assure adequate seating, attendees are encouraged to pre-register by emailing their names and affiliations to publicmeeting@csb.gov by November 14, 2011.

At the meeting the CSB investigative team will present its findings on the circumstances of the accident to three CSB board members and the public. The Board will ask questions of the team in front of the audience and will then invite comments from members of the public. The meeting will be videotaped and an official transcript will be included in the investigative file. Only after a vote of the Board will the investigation results be final.

Following the presentation of the CSB investigation team, a panel of outside witnesses will be invited to speak on a number of issues related to the investigation.  Confirmed panel members include Dr. Robert Zalosh, former professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an independent expert on combustible dust; Professor Paul Amyotte of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Mr. John Cholin, P.E., who investigated a similar incident in 1992 at a Hoeganaes manufacturing facility in New Jersey; and Mr. Bruce Johnson of the International Code Council, the developer of the fire code followed in Tennessee.

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