CSB Says Arkema Generators Vulnerable; Photos Show Aftermath

"These stark photos show the charred aftermath of the Texas chemical fire that ignited after Harvey"

"The U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Monday released stark photos of the scorched remains of containers at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Tex., that burned in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Two of the photos show the skeletal remains of three shipping-size containers covered with ash near the edge of the Arkema facility. Another shows a container burned beyond recognition in front of a charred warehouse.

The fires and explosions ignited after the Arkema plant lost power and when its backup diesel generators failed in flooding that reached six feet in depth. The plant had stored chemical compounds known as organic peroxides, which explode or burst into flames if they are not refrigerated.

A CSB spokeswoman, Hillary Cohen, also said Monday that the plant’s multiple diesel generators had been placed on concrete pads that varied slightly, but which were roughly two feet high, not nearly enough to survive the unusual flooding."

Steven Mufson and Brady Dennis report for the Washington Post September 19, 2017.

Source: Washington Post, 09/20/2017