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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-85-066
Details
Synopsis: AT 3:45 A.M., ON JULY 30, 1983, VINYL CHLORIDE MONOMER (VCM) UNDER PRESSURE ESCAPED FROM A RAILROAD TANK CAR AT THE LOADING FACILITY WITHIN THE FORMOSA PLASTICS CORPORATION (FORMOSA) CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING PLANT AT BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA. THE RELEASED VCM WAS IGNITED BY AN UNDETERMINED SOURCE, AND A LARGE BILLOWING FIRE ENSUED. AN ADJACENT TANK CAR CONTAINING VCM WAS INVOLVED IN THE FIRE BUT DID NOT RUPTURE VIOLENTLY. TWO PERSONS WERE INJURED SERIOUSLY, TWO TANK CARS WERE DESTROYED, THREE TANK CARS WERE DAMAGED MODERATELY, AND THE LOADING FACILITY WAS DAMAGED EXTENSIVELY. DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $1 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FORMOSA PLASTICS CORPORATION: ESTABLISH A SAFETY INSPECTION PROGRAM TO DETECT AND CORRECT ANY CONDITIONS AT THE PLANT THAT DO NOT MEET REQUIREMENTS OF THE NATIONAL ELECTRICAL AND FIRE CODES AND REGULATIONS OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Baton Rouge, LA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA83AZ006
Accident Reports: Vinyl Chloride Monomer Release from a Railroad Tank Car and Fire, Formosa Plastics Corporation Plant
Report #: RAR-85-08
Accident Date: 7/30/1983
Issue Date: 6/17/1985
Date Closed: 7/20/1987
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Tank Car Loading and Unloading, Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
To: NTSB
Date: 8/14/1987
Response: In reply to your letter, the following is an outline of the training required for employees responsible for loading vinyl chloride into tank cars:

From: NTSB
To: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
Date: 7/20/1987
Response: The Board notes Formosa Plastics' statement that monthly safety inspections are being made for all conditions that do not meet the electrical and fire codes and the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Based on this statement, it appears that the intent of Safety Recommendation R-85-66 is being met, and, consequently, the recommendation has been placed in a "Closed-Acceptable Action" status.

From: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
To: NTSB
Date: 5/28/1987
Response: MONTHLY SAFETY INSPECTIONS ARE BEING MADE FOR ALL CONDITIONS THAT DO NOT MEET THE ELECTRICAL AND FIRE CODES AND THE REGULATIONS OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

From: NTSB
To: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
Date: 5/11/1987
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency with the statutory responsibility "to promote transportation safety by conducting independent accident investigations and by formulating safety improvement recommendations" (Public Law 93-633). The Safety Board is vitally interested in any actions taken as a result of its Safety Recommendations. Our records show, however, that we have not received a response from the Formosa Plastics Corporation regarding the recommended actions. We would appreciate being informed as to what efforts are being made to implement these recommendations. The Safety Board's letter including these recommendations is enclosed for your information.