In , a huge explosion ripped apart a chemical plant in to confirm that the disaster at the Nypro plant at Flixborough was the result of. Failure Knowledge Database / Selected Cases. 1. Disaster of Chemical Plant at Flixborough. June 1st. , Flixborough UK. TAKEGAWA. Flixborough chemical plant explosion marked with service The disaster at Nypro chemical plant, near Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, left

Author: Gardataur Tygogami
Country: Senegal
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Environment
Published (Last): 22 July 2012
Pages: 321
PDF File Size: 15.59 Mb
ePub File Size: 3.80 Mb
ISBN: 495-7-82926-392-6
Downloads: 16767
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kazikus

The National Archives holds a great deal of documentation about the disaster and its aftermath, including numerous plans, drawings, photographs and witness statements as well as the Report of the Court of Inquiry.

When this met an ignition source probably a furnace at a nearby hydrogen production plant [B] there was a massive fuel-air explosion. The investigation that followed identified a serious problem with the reactor and the decision was taken to remove it and install a bypass assembly to connect reactors No. New theories about the causes of the disaster have been advanced sincenotably by engineer Ralph King and Dr John Cox.

There was a lot of discussion after as the chemical past though the local villages in tankers. I remember that day very well,I was breaking a young pony at Barrow Haven near the bank of the Humber, a very loud explosion followed by a plume of smoke.

Flixborough chemical plant explosion marked with service – BBC News

My other grandfather in Scunthorpe said it blew the front door open. The fires burned for several days and after ten days those that still raged were hampering the rescue work. Flixborough did us proud — a remarkable little port. Picture taken 5 days after the Nypro Flixborough Disaster which happened on June 1, The explosion was estimated to be equivalent to 15—45 t TNT at the Inquiry.

As flixborougy have got larger we have moved A pipe was installed to bypass the leaking reactor flixboorugh that the plant could continue production.

Flixborough (Nypro UK) Explosion 1st June

After the disaster, two of the twelve bolts were found to be loose; the inquiry concluded that they were probably loose before the disaster. On the other hand, permission for highly hazardous process plants only involves satisfying a technically unqualified local planning committee, which lacks even the most rudimentary powers once the plant goes on stream. Retrieved 1 July The debate and argument continue to this day e. For major modifications this would include an ‘operability study’ ; for minor modifications a checklist-based safety assessment was to be used, indicating what aspects would be affected, and for each aspect giving a statement of the expected effect.

Stored on the site was a huge quantity of flammable liquids which, once pipes and tanks had been ruptured in the explosion, mixed together to produce a fire of incredible intensity. It noted this to be not inconsistent with eyewitness evidence, but ruled out the scenario because pressure tests showed the bellows did not develop tears until well above the safety valve pressure.


We believe that rules relevant to safety must be everyday working rules and be seen as an essential part of day-to-day work practice. The disaster involved and may well have been caused by a hasty modification.

And at a special service the Rev Peter Hearn spoke about a memorial — of mallards returning to peaceful waters — which would always be in Flixborough as a reminder. Lees’ Loss Prevention in the Process Industry 3rd edition. Once identified measures should be taken both to prevent such a disaster so far as is possible and to minimise its consequences should it occur despite all precautions.

The Secretary of State for Employment set up a Court of Inquiry to establish the causes and circumstances of the disaster and identify any immediate lessons to be learned, and also an expert committee to identify major hazard sites and advise on appropriate measures of control for them.

Flixborough led to a widespread public outcry over process plant safety. During those 45 years there were no doubt many occasions when fitters broke into equipment and found it had not been isolated, or broke into the wrong line because it had not been identified positively. It was opened inbut demand for caprolactam had fallen and on July 22,it was announced that the rebuilt Nypro works would close by October 31, with the strong workforce made redundant.

However, [12] gives a graphical presentation of the raw data overpressure inferred from damage vs distance from explosion source for Flixborough Fig 3.

Disqster management lays down safety rules, it must also ensure that they are carried out. It found that major projects requiring financial sanction at a high level were generally well-controlled, but for more financially minor modifications there was less control and this had resulted in a past history of ‘near-misses’ and small-scale accidents, [26] few of which could be blamed on chemical engineers.

The reactors were normally mechanically stirred but reactor 4 had operated without a working stirrer since November ; free phase water could have settled out in unstirred reactor 4 and the bottom of reactor 4 would reach operating temperature more slowly than the stirred reactors.

The disaster was caused wholly by the coincidence of a number of unlikely errors in the design and installation of a modification.

The blast was such that it threw me full length across the road. For any given distance where the comparison can be made, Flixborough gives a higher estimated over-pressure than Buncefield, and other things being equal — overpressure estimation techniques might have changed so much in 30 years that the comparison is meaningless is therefore presumably to be judged the larger explosion.


The site was demolished inalthough the administration block still remains. The ACMH’s terms of reference were to identify types of non-nuclear installations posing a major hazard, and advise on appropriate controls on their establishment, siting, layout, design, operation, maintenance and development including flixboroubh development in their vicinity.

Flixborough disaster

Safety documents were needed both for design and operation. The Flixborough disaster was an explosion at a chemical plant close to the village of FlixboroughNorth LincolnshireEngland on Saturday, 1 June Languages Afrikaans Deutsch Edit links.

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. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. The Petrochemicals Division of Imperial Chemical Industries ICI operated many plants with large inventories of flammable chemicals at its Wilton site including one in which cyclohexane was oxidised to cyclohexanone and cyclohexanol. During the late afternoon on 1 June the temporary bypass pipe ruptured, and a huge quantity of cyclohexane leaked from the pipe, forming a vapour cloud which then found a source of ignition.

If the bellows were ‘stiff’ resistant to squirmthe shock loading could cause the bellows to tear at pressures below the safety valve setting; it was not impossible that this could occur at pressures experienced during start-up, when pressure was less tightly controlled.

I was a serving police constable in Humberside Police and at the time of the incident I was shopping in Baxtergate Doncaster with my family when we heard the explosion. Where instruments or electrical equipment were involved signatures would also be needed from the relative specialist instrument manager or electrical engineer.

They should now be required to demonstrate to the community as a whole that their plants are properly designed, well constructed and safely operated. We would not contest that the best run companies achieve high standards of safety, but we believe this is because they have Retrieved 9 July HSE could then choose to — in some cases generally involving high risk or novel technology — require [x] submission of a more elaborate assessment, covering as appropriate “design, manufacture, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance, as well as subsequent modifications whether of the design or operational procedures or both”.

Dramatic Scunthorpe Telegraph pictures taken a few hours after the explosion — showing raging fires and billowing smoke — have appeared in print many times over subsequent years.