CSB to investigate Ohio oil tank explosion which killed 2 workers

The US Chemical Safety Board sent two investigators on Oct. 20 to the site of an Ohio oil tank explosion which killed two workers on Oct. 19.

The US Chemical Safety Board sent two investigators on Oct. 20 to the site of an Ohio oil tank explosion which killed two workers on Oct. 19.

The blast was on private property in La Rue, about 60 miles northwest of Columbus, at an oilfield operated by Mar Oil Co., a Canadian firm, CSB officials said. They said that the victims, who worked for a contractor, apparently were welding near an oil storage tank.

"This latest tragedy comes less than two weeks after a welder was killed and others were injured by an oil tank explosion in Honolulu. Our team will seek to determine if there are similarities between the accident in Ohio and previous cases involving welding in the vicinity of flammable storage tanks," CSB Chairman John S. Bresland said.

The board, which makes safety recommendations but does not issue citations, investigated a June 2006 accident near Jackson, Miss., which killed contract workers during an operation to weld a pipe onto a crude oil storage tank. Investigators found that flammable gas testing had not been conducted, and flammable vapor from a nearby tank ignited.

CSB recently issued a safety video, "Death in the Oilfield," which is based on the case. It can be viewed online at www.safetyvideos.gov.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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