Investigation Report: Methanol Tank Explosion and Fire, Daytona Beach, Florida, January 11, 2006 [open pdf - 1MB]
"On January 11, 2006, an explosion and fire occurred at the City of Daytona Beach, Bethune Point Wastewater Treatment Plant (Bethune Point WWTP) in Daytona Beach, Florida, killing two employees and severely burning a third. The Bethune Point WWTP processes wastewater using a treatment that requires the addition of methanol, a highly flammable liquid. The methanol is stored in an above-ground storage tank. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) determined that maintenance workers using a cutting torch on a roof above the methanol storage tank accidentally ignited vapors coming from the tank vent. The flame flashed back into the storage tank, causing an explosion inside the tank that precipitated multiple methanol piping failures and a large fire that engulfed the tank and workers." Key issues discussed include: hazard communication, hot work control, plastic pipe in flammable service, flame arrester maintenance, and Florida public employee safety programs.
Report No. 2006-03-I-FL
U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board: http://www.csb.gov/