Flixborough disaster case study

Verified Purchase "Disaster at Flixborough" is an extremely well-illustrated page book explaining the disaster at the Nypro Works in Flixborough, UK on June 1, The book is essentially a classroom guide to the disaster complete with thought-provoking questions and a useful glossary. In this volume from the "Technology in Society Series," V. Marshall explains the history of the Nypro Works, the cause of the explosion, the manufacturing processes for Nylon 6, the various chemical pathways to manufacture Nylon 6 including the route involving caprolactam which was the process employed at Nypro in

Flixborough disaster case study

Sinceit had instead produced caprolactama chemical used in the manufacture of nylon 6. This was originally produced by hydrogenation of phenolbut in additional capacity was added, built to a DSM design in which hot liquid cyclohexane was partially oxidised by compressed air.

The plant was intended to produce 70, tpa tons per annum of caprolactam but was reaching a rate of only 47, tpa in early Government controls on the price of caprolactam put further financial pressure on the plant.

A major leak of liquid from the reactor circuit caused the rapid formation of a large cloud of flammable hydrocarbon. When this met an ignition source probably a furnace at a nearby hydrogen production plant [B] there was a massive fuel-air explosion.

Failings in technical measures

The plant control room collapsed, killing all 18 occupants. Nine other site workers were killed, and a delivery driver died of a heart attack in his cab. Fires started on-site which were still burning ten days later.

Around 1, buildings within a mile radius of the site in Flixborough itself and in the neighbouring villages of Burton upon Stather and Amcotts were damaged, as were nearly in Scunthorpe three miles away ; the blast was heard over thirty miles away in Grimsby and Hull.

Images of the disaster were soon shown on television, filmed by BBC and Yorkshire Television filmstock news crews who had been covering the Appleby-Frodingham Gala in Scunthorpe that afternoon. The plant was re-built but cyclohexanone was now produced by hydrogenation of phenol Nypro proposed to produce the hydrogen from LPG; [7] in the absence of timely advice from the Health and Safety Executive HSE planning permission for storage of te LPG at Flixborough was initially granted subject to HSE approval, but HSE objected [8] ; as a result of a subsequent collapse in the price of nylon it closed down a few years later.

Accident summary

The site was demolished inalthough the administration block still remains. The site today is home to the Flixborough Industrial Estate, occupied by various businesses and Glanford Power Station. The foundations of properties severely damaged by the blast and subsequently demolished can be found on land between the estate and the village, on the route known as Stather Road.

A memorial to those who died was erected in front of offices at the rebuilt site in Cast in bronzeit showed mallards alighting on water. When the plant was closed, the statue was moved to the pond at the parish church in Flixborough.

During the early hours of New Year's Daythe sculpture was stolen. It has never been recovered but the plinth it stood on, with a plaque listing all those who died that day, can still be found outside the church.

The cyclohexane oxidation process is still operated in much the same plant design in the Far East. The reactors were constructed from mild steel with a stainless steel lining; when operating they held in total about tonnes of flammable liquid at a working pressure of 8.

Major Industrial Accidents: Flixborough Disaster - Explosion of a Cyclohexane Cloud

Although the operating pressure was maintained by an automatically controlled bleed valve once the plant had reached steady state, the valve could not be used during start-up, when there was no air feed, the plant being pressurised with nitrogen.

During start-up the bleed valve was normally isolated and there was no route for excess pressure to escape; pressure was kept within acceptable limits slightly wider than those achieved under automatic control by operator intervention manual operation of vent valves.

Reactor 5 leaks and is bypassed[ edit ] Two months prior to the explosion, the number 5 reactor was discovered to be leaking.

Flixborough disaster case study

When lagging was stripped from it, a crack extending about 6 feet 1. It was decided to install a temporary pipe to bypass the leaking reactor to allow continued operation of the plant while repairs were made.

In the absence of inch nominal bore pipe mm DNinch nominal bore pipe mm DN was used to fabricate the bypass pipe for linking reactor 4 outlet to reactor 6 inlet. The new configuration was tested for leak-tightness at working pressure by pressurisation with nitrogen.

For two months after fitting the bypass was operated continuously at temperature and pressure and gave no trouble. At the end of May by which time the bypass had been lagged the reactors had to be depressurised and allowed to cool in order to deal with leaks elsewhere.

The leaks having been dealt with, early on 1 June attempts began to bring the plant back up to pressure and temperature. The explosion[ edit ] At about It virtually demolished the site. Since the accident took place at a weekend there were relatively few people on site: Fires continued on-site for more than ten days.

Case Details > Disaster of Chemical Plant at Flixborough

Off-site there were no fatalities, but 50 injuries were reported and about 2, properties damaged. None of the 18 occupants of the plant control room survived, nor did any records of plant readings. The explosion appeared to have been in the general area of the reactors and after the accident only two possible sites for leaks before the explosion were identified: Disasters on the scale of last Saturday's tragic explosion With the passage of time these sentiments are diluted into bland reports about human error and everything being well under control — as happened with the Summerland fire.

In the Flixborough case, there is a real chance that the death toll could trigger meaningful changes in a neglected aspect of industrial safety. The Inquiry sat for 70 days in the period September — Februaryand took evidence from over witnesses.Oct 23,  · Flixborough case study for Hazard Analysis & Risk Assesment (ECH), Process Safety & Loss Prevention UPM.

Flixborough (Nypro UK) Explosion 1st June Accident summary. At about hours on Saturday 1 June the Nypro (UK) site at Flixborough was severely damaged by a large explosion.

Jun 02,  · Anatomy of a Disaster tells the story of one of the worst industrial accidents in recent U.S. history--the March 23, , explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, which killed Incident Summary: Flixborough Case History.

Building Process Safety Culture. Topics: Process Safety Culture. It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file. Click here to download the PDF file.

Jul 02,  · Deborah Grubbe, P.E., alphabetnyc.com, former safety director for companies including BP and DuPont, explains the challenges of building a safety culture and the organ.

"Disaster at Flixborough" is an extremely well-illustrated page book explaining the disaster at the Nypro Works in Flixborough, UK on June 1, The book is essentially a classroom guide to the disaster complete with thought-provoking questions and a useful alphabetnyc.coms: 1.

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