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CSB investigators head to KY fatal blast scene (3/23)

March 23, 2011
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A team of Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigators is en route to the scene of a fatal accident at a Carbide Industries facility in Louisville, Kentucky.

According to the CSB, two workers were killed and two others injured Monday evening by a fire and explosion that occurred at the facility. Emergency responders said the fatally injured workers were inside a control room at the time of the accident.

The CSB team, led by Investigations Supervisor John Vorderbrueggen, P.E.,and accompanied by board member Mark Griffon, is due to arrive in Louisville this afternoon.

“CSB investigations look at a wide range of issues,” said Griffon. Previous CSB investigations have included assessing a plant’s facility siting practices and examining the location of occupied buildings such as control rooms.”

According to the company’s website, Carbide Industries primarily produces calcium carbide which is used to manufacture acetylene gas, as well as a number of specialty chemicals. In its pure form, calcium carbide is a colorless chemical compound that reacts violently with water.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

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