Congressional Urging

Chemical Safety Board dispatches investigators to probe the Feb. 18 oil refinery explosion in Torrance, CA that injured 4

A team of investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board will deploy Monday (March 9) to Torrance, CA, to probe a Feb. 18 oil refinery explosion that heavily damaged a fluid catalytic cracking unit and injured four workers, CSB chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso announced Friday.

“We plan to deploy 4-5 CSB investigators and subject-matter experts to the site … along with several support personnel needed to assure personnel safety,” Moure-Eraso said.

CSB investigators are typically assigned immediately after an industrial emergency such as the Torrance explosion. At the time of the California refinery blast the CSB had few resources available to consider deployment of a team, a press release issued by Moure-Eraso states.

However, in the past few weeks, CSB has been able to advance its field investigation into a poisonous gas leak that killed four workers at a Houston-area chemical plant in November. CSB has also been able to complete a draft of its report on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The CSB deployment was urged by U.S. representatives Ted W. Lieu, who lives in Torrance, and Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, the release states.

“We have been concerned about this incident since it first occurred due to the reports of injuries, extensive property damage and the release of catalyst material into the surrounding community,” Moure-Eraso said.



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