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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Outside the works, injuries and damage occurred on a widespread scale but there were no fatalities.

In the UK, the government set up an Advisory Committee on Major Hazards to consider the wider implications of the Flixborough explosion. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. It was well known to metallurgists that water contained nitrates causes stress corrosion cracking of mild steel. Retrieved 8 July In accordance with this view, post-Flixborough and without waiting for the Inquiry ReportICI Petrochemicals instituted a disasyer of how it controlled modifications.

At first, it was assumed that the assembly failed as a result of a small external explosion following the prior rupture of a nearby 8in. If the bellows were ‘stiff’ resistant to squirmthe shock loading could cause the bellows to tear at pressures below the safety valve setting; it was not impossible that this rlixborough occur at pressures experienced during start-up, when pressure was less tightly controlled.

Flixborough (Nypro UK) Explosion 1st June 1974

It killed 28 people and seriously injured 36 out of a total of 72 people on site at the flixboroufh. 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.


Process Safety and Environmental Protection. Detailed analysis suggested that the 8-inch pipe had failed due to creep cavitation at a high temperature while the pipe was under pressure. Both of the bellows had dixaster away from the temporary pipe. There are now probably more than a dozen British petrochemical plants with a similar devastation-potential to the Nypro works at Flixborough. To avoid the danger of systems and procedures being disregarded, there should be a requirement for a periodic form of audit of them.

Fires started on-site which were still burning ten days later. This nitrate stress corrosion cracking was believed to have been due to the practice of spraying nitrate-treated cooling water as a means for diluting dsaster dispersing small leaks.

Health and Safety Executive. Experimental work, which flixbofough a full scale simulation was carried out at Flixborough.

Flixborough disaster

The emphasis was upon prompt restart and — the inquiry felt — although this did not lead to the deliberate acceptance of hazards, it led to the adoption of a course of action whose hazards and indeed engineering practicalities were not adequately considered or understood. The cyclohexane oxidation process is still operated in much the same plant design in the Far East.

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Retrieved 26 June No one escaped from the control room. It had jack-knifed completely at the lower mitre joint and apparently collided violently with the plinth after being projected forcibly downwards.

Flixborough, 1 June | The National Archives blog

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There was no on-site senior manager with flixborogh engineering expertise virtually all the plant management had chemical engineering qualifications ; mechanical engineering issues with the modification were overlooked by the managers who approved it, nor was the severity of the potential consequences of its failure appreciated.


Because the plant suffered disasted destruction, the first step of the countermeasure was to rebuild the plant according to the lessons learned from the disaster. The occupants of the works laboratory had seen the release and evacuated the building before the release ignited; most survived.

No-one appreciated that the pressurised assembly would be subject to a turning moment imposing shear forces rrport the bellows for which they are not designed. My other grandfather in Scunthorpe said it blew the front door open. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. They should now be required to demonstrate to the community as a whole that their plants are properly designed, well constructed and safely operated.

No one concerned in the design or construction of the plant envisaged the possibility of a major disaster happening instantaneously. The pipe was flixboroubh. The inquiry report identified ‘lessons to be learned’ which it presented under various headings; ‘General observation’ relating to cultural issues underlying the disaster’specific lessons’ dissater relevant to the disaster, but of general applicability are reported below; there were also ‘general’ and ‘miscellaneous lessons’ of less relevance to the disaster.

Furthermore, it was shown that rapid creep cavitation of stainless steel may occur within minutes at temperatures of degree C or more and under a stress of 4. The report of the court of inquiry was critical of the installation of the bypass pipework on a number of counts: The Flixborough disaster was an explosion at a chemical plant close to the village of FlixboroughNorth LincolnshireEngland on Saturday, 1 June Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.