On September 24, 2009, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigaion Board (CSB) issued its investigation report related to the Imperial Sugar refinery explosion which occurred on February 7, 2008. There are a number of refinery explosion lawyers currently pursing claims against certain companies related to this explosion, and this report is a groudbreaking development in that litigation.
The CSB, in its detailed report, determined that the dust explosion began in an enclosed steel belt conveyor located beneath the sugar silos at the refinery. This enclosure allowed explosive sugar dust to accumulate. When an unknown source ignited the accumulated sugar dust, an explosion occurred.
Because of the poor industrial hygiene practices at the Port Wentworth, Georgia refinery, secondary explosions occurred, causing massive damage. The sugar refinery was an industrial accident waiting to happen.
The CSB report outlines a variety of serious problems at the refinery, but it makes it clear that the refinery explosion, and resulting burn injuries and deaths, could have been avoided. The CSB specifically found that the equipment in the refinery was outdated, there were inadequate housekeeping practices, airborne combustible dust was present throughout the facility, and that evacuation plans were inadequate.
Refinery explosion lawyers have been litigating with certain subsidiaries of the Imperial Sugar company for over a year. This CSB report shows that the refinery explosion, like most industrial accidents, was a preventable tragedy which never should have happened.