Summary of the Incident
The tragic incidence occurred in the production facility that is situated near Allentown in Pennsylvania. On February 19, 1999, the Concept Sciences, Inc. (CSI) was making an aqueous solution of hydroxylamine, which was to be the first attempt in the new facility (Volk, 2002). Unfortunately, the vessel, which contained the chemicals, exploded that led to many deaths. For instance, the high temperature that was allowed in the process became so intense to the tank piping, which eventually decomposed causing the explosion. During the event, four people working in the facility together with the manager of a neighbouring business premise died on the spot. The service building alongside other buildings around the place got damaged, with some people sustaining injuries including two CSI staff, four individuals who were in the nearby building and six fire-fighters who rushed to manage the tragedy also got some injuries.
Many factors might have led to this tragic event. However, it is very harsh to blame the staff that carried the process, since they might not have been aware of what would follow in whatever they were doing. For more illustration, HA contains the mixture of oxygen and ammonium gases, which take the chemical formula of NH2OH. The compound makes an aqueous solution or as salts. According to Hazards Research Corporation, the compound is highly prone to an explosion if the temperature is not well monitored (Volk, 2002). Due to the high demand of HA in the market, the institution intended to make the solutions to a great volumes for maximum profits that existed in the market. Therefore, it is worth mentioning that the management was highly appealing to emotion in the process, yet failed in the cognizance of the dangers that comes with the process. In other words, the leading causes here were ignorance and emotional drive to earn more money.
Inadequate Safety Information Contributed to the Incidence
Besides, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in collaboration with CSB, U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command, and Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Centre together established that insufficiency of safety understanding and measures was the main reason for the explosion. According to Volk (2002), these bodies agree that improper understanding about the reaction of the compound NH2OH to high temperatures was dangerous. The findings illustrate that if the facility had been able to take very measure required in conducting the process, then it would have been that first to manufacture it for commercial values.
Volk, T. (2002). Explosions at Concept Sciences: Hazards of Hydroxylamine. The Morning
Call: A Case Study by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). Print.