Flixborough disaster By: Paradigma Carlo Giovanni. Picture taken 5 days after the Nypro Flixborough Disaster which happened on June 1, Pic by George Schofield, of Barrow-on-Humber. 1 June is the 40th anniversary of the Flixborough disaster, an explosion at a chemical plant sited on the banks of the River Trent in Lincolnshire.

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Countermeasures Because the plant suffered wide-scale destruction, the first step of the countermeasure was to rebuild the plant according to the lessons learned from the disaster.

Flixborough disaster

In view of the Court of Inquiry’s qualified conclusion, the cause of the accident has been the subject of considerable controversy, especially as to the actual failure process e. One of the teachers at my school lost a relative in the explosion.

A leak occurred fliborough a flange on the non-return valve, located near this 50in. It was suggested that a diagram be made of the relation between the distance from the point of release and the size of the cloud tonnes of hydrocarbon equivalent at the plant containing materials that might explode.

These images — credited to George Schofield, of Barrow-on-Humber — were brought in to Nostalgia last week by Raymond Ogg, whose home in Flixborough was one of many badly damaged by the blast. It was estimated that tonnes of cyclohexane escaped in the 50 seconds that elapsed before glixborough occurred.

The plant changed its production process for manufacturing cyclohexanon flixborouhh cyclohexanol from the oxidation of cyclohexane to the hydrogeneration of phenol. The disasrer bypass was therefore clearly not what would have been produced or accepted by a more considered process, but controversy developed and became acrimonious as to whether its failure was the initiating fault in the disaster the inch hypothesis, argued by the plant designers DSM and the plant constructors; and favoured by the court’s technical advisers [3]or had been triggered by an external explosion resulting from a previous failure of the 8-inch line argued by experts retained by Nypro and their insurers [3].

Flixborough disaster – Wikipedia

The plant was intended to produce 70, tpa tons per annum of caprolactam but was reaching a rate of only 47, tpa in disaaster Windows and frames were torn from walls, falling masonry wrecked cars and personal belongings littered streets.


No calculations were done to ascertain whether the bellows or pipe would withstand the forces that would be exerted. The modification and its supporting safety assessment then had to be approved in writing by the plant manager and engineer. The rarity of major disasters tends to breed complacency and even a contempt for written instructions. It was a failure of this plant fixborough led to the disaster.

In area D, roofs of buildings should be independently supported and windows protected, and there should not be any public roads. Once identified measures should be taken both to prevent such a disaster so far as is possible and to minimise its consequences should it occur despite all precautions.

Is this page useful? No change in the operating condition outside the approved range should be made until they have been authorised by a professionally qualified manager. These pictures show some of the devastation caused by the Flixborough Disaster in North Lincolnshire exactly 43 years ago.

Plant pressures at the time of the accident were unknown since all relevant instruments and records had been destroyed, and all relevant operators killed. It was recognised that the number of casualties would have been even higher had the incident occurred on a weekday.

Consequently, the bending moment caused by a slight rise in pressure was sufficient to cause the temporary pipe to tear the bellows. The disaster was caused wholly by the coincidence of a number of unlikely errors in the design and installation of a modification.

No calculations were undertaken for the dog-legged shaped line or for the bellows. Outside the works, injuries and damage occurred on a widespread scale but there were no fatalities. The Flixborough site gained a new usewhen Glanford Borough Council decided to turn itinto a modern industrial estate.

Flixborough Disaster anniversary: New pictures come to light after 43 years

However, the rebuilt plant as closed down, after a few years, for commercial reasons. Rules, designed to protect those who drew them up if something goes wrong, are readily ignored in day-to-day work. Offsite consequences resulted in fifty-three reported injuries.

In its first report [28] issued as a basis for consultation and comment in Marchthe ACMH noted that hazard could not be quantified in the abstract, and that a precise definition of ‘major hazard’ was therefore impossible.


Flixborough Disaster anniversary: New pictures come to light after 43 years – Scunthorpe Telegraph

Retrieved from ” https: The temporary pipe was deformed in a “V” shape by bending stress at only slightly above operating pressure, and the bellows, the weak link in the chain, were torn away by shear stress.

Flixborougg cyclohexane oxidation process is still operated in much the same plant design in the Far East. The site today is home to the Flixborough Industrial Estate, occupied by various businesses and Glanford Power Station. The plant design had assumed that flixboorugh worst consequence of a major leak would be a plant fire and to protect against this a fire detection system had been installed.

I was a serving police constable in Humberside Police and at the time of the incident I was shopping in Baxtergate Doncaster with my family when we heard the explosion. On returning home to Goole I was called in for duty and with other officers carried out anti looting patrols through the night.

The support of the temporary pipe was a scaffolding structure upon which the pipe diasster, without being fastened down. It is recognised that the number of casualties would have been more if the incident had occurred on a weekday, as the main office block was not occupied.

Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice. The disaster was caused by ‘a well designed and constructed plant’ undergoing a modification that destroyed its technical integrity. Flixborough, 1 June Where instruments or electrical equipment were involved signatures would also be needed from the relative specialist instrument manager or electrical engineer.

Five years later, when former EEC Commissioner Stanley Clinton Davis unveiled a plaque at the site to mark the completion of infrastructure works, there were already hundreds of new jobs on flibxorough estate. The site was demolished inalthough the administration block still remains. Wed 4 Jun at 7: