Explosion at Oregon Wood Treatment Plant
Ran into a series of articles (here,
about a fire and explosion at a wood treatment plant in The Dales, OR. The fire
occurred in a storage tank that had recently been emptied of chemical mixture that
is being used as a replacement for creosote in treating railroad ties and
telephone poles, coper naphthenate in diesel fuel. From the
description of the material left in the tank (“diesel sludge and sawdust
remained in the tank”), this may have been a spontaneous
combustion event, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
All of the news articles include a description of the sound
of an explosion associated with the even, but photos in the article show only
relatively minor damage to the storage tank involved, so this may have been a
case where this was a sealed tank and the combustion products (CO2 and CO)
produced an overpressure event that caused a rupture of the tank. This opened
that tank to the inflow of air and allowed the fire to flare up, but still
remain confined to the tank.
Two fire fighters were injured during their response to the
incident and were hospitalized at least overnight according to one
report. This would make the fire a Chemical Safety Board reportable incident.