The final report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has been released regarding an electric arc furnace explosion that killed two workers and injured two others at Carbide Industries in Louisville, KY in March of 2011. According to the final report, the accident resulted from the company’s failure to investigate other, less critical explosive incidents over several years and deferring crucial maintenance of the large electric arc furnace involved in the explosion.
The fatalities and injuries are thought to be the result of water leaking into the electric arc furnace causing an “over-pressure event”, causing the contents of the furnace to reach temperatures of approximately 3800 degrees Fahrenheit. According to CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso , “This accident is literally a case study into the tragic, predictable consequences of running equipment to failure even when repeated safety incidents over many years warn of impending failure.”
While this is not an arc flash incident it is a common issue of running equipment to failure. Proper equipment maintenance prevents incidents.