Search

Beirut Explosion Strikes Similarities to 2013 West, TX Incident, Says CSB

Posted on 8/11/2020 by Lauren Scott

Last week, the Chairman of the US Chemical Safety and Hazardous Investigation Board (CSB) released a statement reflecting that the massive chemical explosion in Beirut, Lebanon on August 4 may have similar characteristics to the West Fertilizer Plant Explosion of 2013.

Although the explosion is still under investigation, news sources report that the incident in Lebanon’s capitol city may have been caused by prolonged storage of ammonium nitrate without the proper safety measures. This industrial chemical is commonly used as a fertilizer and is the main component of many types of mining explosives.

2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate were allegedly stored in a shipping container at Beirut’s cargo port for over six years when it erupted in smoke and flame last week, leaving at least 154 dead and thousands more injured.

 

Video Credit: CBC News: The National
 

CSB’s Call to Action

CSB Chairman Katherine Lemos points to several similarities between this incident and the equally devastating West Fertilizer Plant Explosion. On April 17, 2013, a fire and explosion in West, Texas killed 15 people, injured more than 260 others, and caused widespread community damage. After a thorough investigation, CSB determined the incident was caused by inadequate storage and handling of ammonium nitrate.

Since 2013, Federal agencies have made changes to the way companies can handle, store, and ship the potentially hazardous chemical. These regulatory changes include increased inspections by OSHA and new guidance on emergency planning issued from EPA.

In her statement, the chairman says incidents such as those in West, Texas and Beirut are preventable and argues for even more regulatory changes to keep employees, cargo, and our communities safe.

Read the full statement here.

Tags: Beirut, Beirut explosion, chemical accident, chemical explosion, CSB, EPA, hazardous materials, hazmat, hazmat news, Lebanon, osha, West Texas explosion

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

As always, Lion never disappoints

Paul Resley

Environmental Coordinator

Lion's training was by far the best online RCRA training I've ever taken. It was challenging and the layout was great!

Paul Harbison

Hazardous Waste Professional

Having the tutorial buttons for additional information was extremely beneficial.

Sharon Ziemek

EHS Manager

The instructor kept the class engaged and made learning fun. There was a lot of information to cover but time flew by. I will definitely use Lion in the future!

Chelsea Minguela

Hazmat Shipping Professional

I think LION does an excellent job of any training they do. Materials provided are very useful to my day-to-day work activities.

Pamela Embody

EHS Specialist

Lion courses are the standard to which all other workshops should strive for!

Brody Saleen

Registered Environmental Health Specialist

I used the IT support number available and my issue was resolved within a few minutes. I don't see anything that could have made it better.

Danny Province

EHS Professional

The exercises in the DOT hazardous materials management course are especially helpful in evaluating your understanding of course information.

Morgan Bliss

Principal Industrial Hygienist

Lion is easily and consistently the best option for compliance training. I've learned new information from every instructor I've had.

Rachel Mathis

EHS Specialist

Given the choice, I would do all coursework this way. In-person courses go very fast without the opportunity to pause or repeat anything.

Ellen Pelton

Chemical Laboratory Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

What to do before, during, and after a RCRA hazardous waste inspection to defend your site from rising State and Federal penalties.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.