Case Name, Disaster of Chemical Plant at Flixborough. Pictograph. Date, June 1, Place, Flixborough, UK. Location, Cyclohexanone oxidation plant. Flixborough. disaster. vapour cloud explosion. cyclohexane. loss prevention. risk assessment J.G. BallAfter the Flixborough Report: do we know the real truth?. 1 June is the 40th anniversary of the Flixborough disaster, The Flixborough Plant before the explosion – official report, TS 84/37/1.

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I’d like to read this book on Kindle Flixborouhg have a Kindle? Flizborough reason for why the bellows fractured by shear stress, was that the temporary pipe was installed without examining what the effect of a slight pressure rise on the bellows would be. Temporary bypass pipe for reactor and process pipe between separators. I remember that day very well,I was breaking a young pony at Barrow Haven near the bank of the Humber, a very loud explosion followed by a plume of smoke.

No-one appreciated that the pressurised assembly would be subject to a turning moment imposing shear forces on the bellows for which they are not designed.

Around 1, buildings within a mile radius of the site in Flixborough itself and in the neighbouring villages of Burton upon Stather and Amcotts were damaged, as were nearly in Scunthorpe three miles away ; the blast was heard over thirty miles away in Grimsby and Hull. It took about ten years for their recommendations to be made and to come into force.

The foundations of properties severely damaged by the blast and subsequently demolished can be found on land between the estate and the village, on the route known as Stather Road. The temporary pipe acted to twist the flow, and the bellows were ruptured by shear stress. See our moderation policy for more details. In fact, the decision was hardly known to the engineers.

Offsite consequences resulted in fifty-three reported injuries.

Flixborough (Nypro UK) Explosion 1st June 1974

No calculations were done to ascertain whether the bellows or pipe would withstand the dissster that would be exerted. This leak gave rise to an accumulation of oxidizable residues in the lagging and spontaneous combustion or a spray which was ignited by induced elctrostatic charges; the result being a flame directed into the inside of an 8in.

The site was demolished inalthough the administration block still remains. In this case, it was necessary to consider the improvement of the production process.

Outside the works injuries and damage were widespread. At Flixborough, 28 workers were killed and 36 others onsite suffered injuries. Chemical Engineering Progress, Vol. Countermeasures Because the plant suffered wide-scale destruction, the first step of the countermeasure was to rebuild the plant according to the lessons learned from the disaster.


ACMH felt that for major hazard installations [z] the plan should be formal and include. It was decided to install a temporary pipe to bypass the leaking reactor to allow continued operation of the plant while repairs were made.

During those 45 years there were no doubt many occasions when fitters broke into equipment and found it had not been isolated, or broke into the wrong line because it had not been identified positively.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. The inquiry identified difficulties at various repor of the accident development in the 8-inch hypothesis, their cumulative effect being considered to be such that the report concluded that overall the inch hypothesis involving ‘a single event of low probability’ was more repport than the 8-inch hypothesis depending upon ‘a succession of events, most of which are improbable’.

For major modifications this would include an ‘operability study’ ; for minor modifications a checklist-based safety assessment was to be used, indicating what aspects would be affected, and for each aspect giving a statement of the expected effect.

So,it is necessary to consider methods for detecting and preventing leaks. The nitrogen stock for purging was found to be insufficient, however, and as a fresh delivery was not expected before midnight, the system was kept on “dry-cycling”, i.

Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. The report of the court of inquiry was critical of the installation of the bypass pipework on a number of counts: Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands.

The support of the temporary pipe was a scaffolding structure upon which the pipe rested, without being fastened down.

disasster The possible sources of zinc that could cause such an embrittlement attack were the galvanized stairways and the wire securing the lagging. Also, the supports were not strong enough to withstand the bending stress of the pipe. It was estimated that tonnes of cyclohexane escaped in the 50 seconds that elapsed before ignition occurred.

No calculations were done to ascertain whether the bellows or pipe disastfr withstand these strains; no reference was made to the relevant British Disastdr, or any other accepted standard; no reference was made to the designer’s guide issued by the manufacturers of the bellows; no drawing of the pipe was made, other than in chalk on the workshop floor; no pressure testing either of the pipe or the complete assembly was made before it was fitted.

The disaster was caused by ‘a well designed and constructed plant’ undergoing a modification that destroyed its technical integrity. It was not known why Flixborough adopted a high inventory process. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. It noted this to be not inconsistent with eyewitness evidence, but flixboorugh out the scenario because pressure tests showed the bellows did not develop tears until well above the safety valve pressure.


The occupants of the works laboratory had seen the release and evacuated the building before the release ignited; most survived. One of the teachers at my school lost a relative in the explosion. There are now probably more than a dozen British petrochemical plants with a similar devastation-potential to the Nypro works at Flixborough. The Secretary of State for Employment set up a Court of Inquiry to establish the causes and circumstances of the disaster and identify any immediate lessons to be learned, and also an expert committee to identify major hazard sites and advise on appropriate measures of control for them.

The Atomic Weapons and Research Establishment at Aldermaston produced a report on the infrasonic and seismic waves which resulted. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Both of the bellows had torn away from the temporary pipe. The bending moment, caused by the action of this slight rise in pressure, was strong enough to tear the bellows.

We believe that the best practices must be followed by all companies and that we have reached a state of technological development where it is not sufficient in areas of high risk for employers merely to demonstrate to themselves that all is well.

Inaugural lecture given on 22 February ” PDF. The explosion was estimated to be equivalent to 16 tonnes of TNT and the subsequent fires raged for ten days. These requirements applied not only to changes to equipment, but also to process changes. The casualty figures could have been much higher, if the explosion had occurred on a weekdaywhen the main office area would have been occupied.

Case Details > Disaster of Chemical Plant at Flixborough

The inquiry report identified ‘lessons to be learned’ which it presented under various flixborouh ‘General observation’ relating to cultural issues underlying the disaster’specific lessons’ directly relevant to the disaster, but of general applicability are reported below; there were also ‘general’ and ‘miscellaneous lessons’ of less relevance to the disaster.

Therefore, the support structure could be provide not enough strength to withstand against bending stress. The disaster was caused wholly by the coincidence of a number of unlikely errors in the design and installation of a modification.