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Multiple LPG storage tank ruptures

Published on 12/09/23 534 Views

A DN 200 (8” NS) liquified petroleum gas (LPG) transfer line ruptured at a state owned and operated storage/distribution terminal while being filled from a refinery 400km (250 miles) away. The leaking LPG formed a vapour cloud which spilled over the bund walls which surrounded the pressurised storage vessels (sphere and bullets) and migrated towards a ground flare. The flame front accelerated back towards the leak source. Several pool fires erupted, causing a series of catastrophic boiling liquid expanding vapour explosions (BLEVEs) which blew many of the vessels off their supports. Burning LPG liquid rained down on the neighbouring shanty town which had expanded to 130m (427 ft) from the terminal fence. The official death toll was 542 with 4,248 injured but unofficial estimated were higher (shanty town population unknown). Around 200,000 people had to be evacuated and ~ 10,000 people became homeless.

Ask yourself and your crew:

  • How can something like this happen here (e.g. on our site)?
  • What safety measures (i.e. procedures, controls/barriers) do we have in place to mitigate the risk?
  • How do we know the risk controls/barriers are working?
  • What improvements or changes should we make to the procedures, controls/barriers or the way we work?

Original content courtesy of IChemE Safety Centre