Pipe corrosion caused explosion and fire at Regina refinery: investigators

REGINA – Fire inspectors say corrosion in a single pipe was behind an explosion and fire at the Co-op refinery in Regina last fall.

Their report says a tear measuring almost 18 centimetres long triggered the initial explosion and subsequent smaller ones.

They say the problem was in a diesel fuel processing area and had been getting worse since 2008 when practices at the plant changed.

Co-op officials say tests hadn’t shown any issues with the pipe.

Seven contract employees that were working on a $2-billion upgrade and expansion were sent to hospital and two more were treated for burns at the plant.

Another 1,400 people had to leave the refinery after the blast that triggered a huge fireball that could be seen all over the city.

Co-op says 80 per cent of the piping in the troubled area has been replaced since the fire and 19 other measures have been taken to increase testing.

The plant had another fire on a much smaller scale in May when an overheated crude oil pump ignited. There were no injuries.

SOURCE: http://www.canada.com/business/all/Pipe+corrosion+caused+explosion+fire+Regina+refinery+investigators/7101054/story.html

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