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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Both of the bellows had torn away from the temporary pipe. A pipe was installed to bypass the leaking reactor so that the plant could continue production. Once identified measures should be taken both to prevent such a disaster so far as is possible and to minimise its consequences should it occur despite all precautions.

When this met an ignition source probably a furnace at a nearby hydrogen production plant [B] there was a massive fuel-air explosion.

Retrieved 8 July A major leak of liquid from the reactor circuit caused the rapid formation of a large cloud of flammable hydrocarbon. The debate and argument continue to this day e.

For plants containing materials that might explode, the safety of the flixboroguh layout and equipment location should be considered. The casualty figures could have been much higher, if the explosion had occurred on a weekdaywhen the main office area would have been occupied. Sinceit had instead produced caprolactama chemical used in the manufacture of nylon 6. The cyclohexane oxidation process was performed in a series of six reactors, each holding about 20tonnes.

Failings in technical measures A plant modification occurred without a full assessment of the potential consequences. Also, the supports were not strong enough to withstand the bending stress of the pipe.

Flixborough, 1 June | The National Archives blog

During start-up the bleed valve was normally isolated and there was no route for excess pressure to escape; pressure was kept within acceptable limits slightly wider than those achieved under automatic control by operator intervention manual operation of vent valves. Safety documents were needed both for design and operation.


Nor did anyone appreciate that the hydraulic thrust on the bellows some 38 tonnes at working pressure would tend to make the pipe buckle at the mitre joints.

Explore the Home Gift Guide. The plant design had assumed that the worst consequence of a major leak would be a plant fire and to protect against this a fire detection system had been installed. 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. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. A company operating a notifiable installation should be required to survey its hazard potential, and inform HSE of the hazards identified and the procedures and methods adopted or to be adopted to deal with them.

A leak occurred at a flange on the non-return valve, located near this 50in. Retrieved 25 June These tests showed that the bellows squired into on “S” shape at a pressure only slightly above the operating pressure.

Together with the passage of the Health and Safety at Work Act in the same year it led to and is often quoted in justification of a more didaster approach to process safety in UK process industries, and — in conjunction with the Seveso disaster and the flixborohgh EU ‘Seveso directives’ — to explicit UK government regulation of plant processing or storing large inventories of hazardous materials, currently by the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations COMAH.

Subsequently, both forms of cyclohexane were introduced into the No. The occupants of the works laboratory had seen the release and evacuated the building before the release ignited; most survived.


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Share your thoughts with other customers. It was well known to metallurgists that water contained nitrates causes stress corrosion cracking of mild steel. Ralph King suggested that a reaction between water which had settled in one of the reactors and the hot cyclohexane above it caused a massive rise in pressure that blew apart the piping.

Nypro had recognised this to be a weakness and identified a senior mechanical engineer in an NCB subsidiary as available to provide advice and support if requested. Where management lays down safety rules, it must also ensure that they are carried out.

Instead [w] installations with an inventory of flammable fluids above a certain threshold or of toxic materials above a certain ‘chlorine equivalent’ threshold should be ‘ notifiable installations ‘. Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. We were between editions and cleared as much space as we could to cover it. In order to maintain production, a temporary bypass pipe was installed between the No. None of the 18 occupants of the plant control room survived, nor did any records fkixborough plant readings.

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.

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