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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-85-067
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: IN COOPERATION WITH THE CITY OF BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA ESTABLISH AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN AND EVACUATION PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE EVENT OF A LEAK OR FIRE AT THE PLANT INVOLVING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS.
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 Safety Board is pleased to note the establishment of the North Baton Rouge Emergency Response Task Force which includes the nine North Baton Rouge petrochemical plants, of which Formosa Plastics is one, the local media, and the State and local emergency response agencies. As the news release, which was attached with your letter. Indicates, the group has developed emergency response plans and has conducted drills to test the effectiveness of the plans. Also, as a result of this group's efforts, community residents have been informed of the hazards of materials being manufactured, used, or transported in the area and of the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency. The Board commends Formosa Plastics for its participation in this task force. Based on the information provided, we believe that the intent of Safety Recommendation R-85-67 is being met, and it has now been placed in a "Closed-Acceptable Action" status.

From: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
To: NTSB
Date: 5/28/1987
Response: AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED WITH THE CITY OF BATON ROUGE. THIS PLAN INCLUDES NINE NEIGHBORING PLANTS IN THE NORTH BATON ROUGE AREA, STATE POLICE, LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND THE NEWS MEDIA.

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.