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ricardian
1st Jun 2014, 07:01
Flixborough disaster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flixborough_disaster)

ExRAFRadar
1st Jun 2014, 11:54
Thanks for posting that.
I had never heard of it before and the piece about a coverup is simply shocking.

500N
1st Jun 2014, 13:02
Agree, thanks for posting.

I had also not heard of it even though I lived a bit south west.

Probably just that little bit too young - even though I remember the moon landings 5 years earlier !

west lakes
1st Jun 2014, 13:10
I certainly remember it and by co-incidence read the full report sometime last year. It made interesting reading and pretty much matched the forensic capabilities of the era.

fitliker
1st Jun 2014, 14:45
As an ex Piper Alpha contractor all I have to say is :


Like many preventable accidents ,there is usually more than one cause .
Many of the causes of accidents are completely unknown to those about to experience them. When people choose to ignore possible causes and then get overwhelmed by other causes that may or may not have been known to them ,it is easy to say that if only they not done this or that ,if they had of zigged instead of zagged ,the accident may not have happened.


Talking about accidents and proper investigations open up the heart and minds to many other possibilities and improves safety awareness that can be applied to prevent grief and avoid the unnecessary costs associated with accidents. Sharing and acting upon that knowledge is the best way to improve our health and happiness. We often have the luxury of time and hindsight to get to the cause of these accidents. Time and hindsight that those who did not see all of the facts at the time did not have .


We owe to those who died and suffered to get to the truth to prevent future accidents .Their deaths and suffering should not be in vain, but honoured by acknowledging their sacrifice made in their working lives ,working lives that contributed to the betterment of society.
In knowing their deaths and sufferings and knowing of the causation of their sufferings, that knowledge if shared, can help prevent future suffering and grief.

onetrack
2nd Jun 2014, 08:00
And not one company manager, director, engineer, or other "responsible person" in the chain of company authority, was ever charged or punished in any form, I guess? :rolleyes:

Alloa Akbar
2nd Jun 2014, 10:00
Anyone ever read "Black Swan"? No, not the movie, a considered view of "Black Swan" moments - Things we think we should have seen coming but didn't.

Its interesting if you can actually stay with it and read the damn thing!!

crippen
2nd Jun 2014, 10:04
Despite protests from the local community the plant was re-built but, as a result of a subsequent collapse in the price of nylon, it closed down a few years later.

Flixborough disaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flixborough_disaster)


:}

Hempy
2nd Jun 2014, 11:09
As an ex Piper Alpha contractor all I have to say is :


Like many preventable accidents ,there is usually more than one cause .
Many of the causes of accidents are completely unknown to those about to experience them. When people choose to ignore possible causes and then get overwhelmed by other causes that may or may not have been known to them ,it is easy to say that if only they not done this or that ,if they had of zigged instead of zagged ,the accident may not have happened.


Talking about accidents and proper investigations open up the heart and minds to many other possibilities and improves safety awareness that can be applied to prevent grief and avoid the unnecessary costs associated with accidents. Sharing and acting upon that knowledge is the best way to improve our health and happiness. We often have the luxury of time and hindsight to get to the cause of these accidents. Time and hindsight that those who did not see all of the facts at the time did not have .


We owe to those who died and suffered to get to the truth to prevent future accidents .Their deaths and suffering should not be in vain, but honoured by acknowledging their sacrifice made in their working lives ,working lives that contributed to the betterment of society.
In knowing their deaths and sufferings and knowing of the causation of their sufferings, that knowledge if shared, can help prevent future suffering and grief.

Excellent post.

The fact is that safety is evolutionary..the key is to learn from the mistakes made and to feed that knowledge into the safety system.

It's when the knowledge is there already and it gets ignored causing an accident that blame should start getting apportioned, depending on the risk acceptance of the operation.

It would seem from latest investigation in this case that the knowledge may have been there, and been ignored. You'd like to think that the acceptable risk in a commercial chemical plant would be zero though...in fact it may even be legislation in most developed countries....

alC
2nd Jun 2014, 11:44
I was traveling along the A1077 towards Winterton at the moment of the explosion. It was a nice sunny day and as I looked towards Flixborough a long thin column of black smoke rose from the area. As I watched, all the crops in the fields alongside the road flattened, and the van I was passenger in shook violently as the shock wave hit. I don't recall hearing an explosion.
All the vehicles in front of us stopped and the drivers got out and checked their tyres.
A few years ago I worked with a fireman who had been on the site. He said that their boots had melted in the puddles of chemicals.
He also added that an unusually large proportion of his colleagues had subsequently suffered from Cancer.

TomJoad
2nd Jun 2014, 12:26
The Flixborough disaster resulted in part in the commissioning of The Finniston Report in 1977. The commission, lead by Sir Monty Finniston, sought to address complaints from industry about the lack of qualified engineers and the professional recognition of the engineering profession in the UK. Amongst other things the report led to establishment of the Engineering council, tighter regulation of university courses, establishment of BEng and MEng course and defined pathways to professional registration leading to Chartered Engineer status. The Flixborough disaster and the Finniston Report were regarded as essential reading when I did my engineering degree in the 80s. The industry is now better regulated but as always we still struggle to attract new talent.

Tom

pzu
2nd Jun 2014, 15:19
Had just heard news of Flixborough on BBC Word Service, went to the 'Pub' (in Freeport Bahamas - the Winston Churchill) and was discussing the news with a few mates from the Refinery, when we were joined by an Instrument Tech - someone commented that he was from Lincolnshire and asked him if he'd heard the 'news'???

No and it turned out his Dad worked at Flixborough - a deathly silence, a dash for the phone - after a few minutes he came back, his Dad was off shift but was still unsure of other 'mates' - turned out they were ALL ok

PZU - Out of Africa (Retired)

Sir George Cayley
2nd Jun 2014, 21:41
The pall of smoke could be seen from many miles away and proved a useful if not macabre beacon for those flying to the opening of Kirmington/Humberside Airport.

SGC

Mac the Knife
2nd Jun 2014, 22:18
Yep, that's more dead and injured than from the Fukushima reactor incident and they didn't even have the excuse of a tsunami.

The chemical plant toxic/fatal accidents go on and on but there's never any hysteria about closing down the entire chemical industry.

Meanwhile we're down to our last few decades of highly polluting fossil energy and nothing to replace it with (solar and wind will never even come close unless we cover half the country with great ugly windmills and oh-so-interesting acres of panels).

By that time we won't have the money or spare power to build the network of small, inherently safe, carbon neutral, modern fission reactors that we could have had or solved the not-too-difficult problem of waste burnup.

Mac

:(

HyFlyer
3rd Jun 2014, 10:55
Remember this clearly.

It happened up t' North......

so it really didn't have any substantial impact in the South where all the power, money and influence was.

Nothing changes.....

cockney steve
3rd Jun 2014, 16:14
I remember both Flixborough, then some years later, BHOPAL.

Mother lived on Grand Bahama for some years. Mr. Pindling took power and tried to force out all the Whites (who were forced to train native bahamians to take their place.
Mother recounted how periodically, the peace would be shattered by a loud BANG followed by a plume of black smoke arising from the refinery at the other end of the island..."bloody blacks had opened the wrong valve again"
She stated that the locals did not want to work....they were quite happy, getting stoned on the local herbs and collecting a few Cowrie -shells to flog to the tourists. They didn't want to work in shops, hotels and the likes.
Tale was that Pindling attempted to have a mansion built on Jamaica...After it was torched three times, he reconsidered.
Mother and stepfather eventually both had their work-permits withdrawn and were lucky to get about a month's notice Police escorted them to the airport and the Hostie returned their passports when they touched down in Alicante (their chosen destination)
Howzat for Thread- Drift!!!! :} :O

Lon More
3rd Jun 2014, 16:27
Similar disaster here in Netherlands. Explosion and fire at DSM, Beek. 7th November 1975 (http://www.hse.gov.uk/comah/sragtech/casebeek75.htm). Rattled me out my bed about 20 km away. Seems nobody wants to learn any lessons.
The DSM plant was built at a motorway junctiom and right in the middle of an inhabited area, for the simple reason that they already owned the ground