CSB video urges safety around fuel gas lines

February 9, 2011

Washington – A Chemical Safety Board video released Feb. 4 depicts the Kleen Energy and ConAgra Foods explosions, both of which were caused by the intentional release of fuel gas near work areas.

The animated video, called “Deadly Practices,” shows the hazards of releasing gas in areas where it can accumulate and ignite.

The February 2010 incident at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown, CT, occurred “when workers used natural gas to flush out debris in a pipe-cleaning process known as a “gas blow,” resulting in the deaths of six workers. In the case of the June 2009 blast at the ConAgra plant near Garner, NC, purged gas accumulated in a utility room, resulting in the deaths of four workers.

“The deadly accidents at Kleen Energy and ConAgra were entirely preventable,” CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said in the video. “At the Chemical Safety Board, it is our hope that standards will be put in place that will require these safer practices, which we believe will save lives.”

CSB also issued urgent recommendations related to the Kleen Energy and ConAgra incidents for safety during the purging of fuel gas piping.