St. Charles County MO lubricant plant suffers explosion

April 14, 2009

Once again, we've been treated to another process plant blowing itself up. Or rather, to people blowing up a process plant. There's a subtle but important difference there.

Here's some video of the Sunday night accident. http://cw11tv.trb.com/video/?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=3648783 EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS TV STATION VIDEO IS NO LONGER UP AT THIS LINK. YOU NEED TO SEARCH THEIR ARCHIVES FOR THE VIDEO.

Once again, we've been treated to another process plant blowing itself up. Or rather, to people blowing up a process plant. There's a subtle but important difference there.

Here's some video of the Sunday night accident. http://cw11tv.trb.com/video/?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=3648783 EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS TV STATION VIDEO IS NO LONGER UP AT THIS LINK. YOU NEED TO SEARCH THEIR ARCHIVES FOR THE VIDEO.

"Well we had one reaction that we've been doing here for years and apparently it just ran away," said George Garrison, who was reported to be the plant manager of SantoLubes, a lubricant manufacturer. The SantoLubes website, www.santolubes.com, has been taken down.

According to investigators, a reactor overheated and exploded. No word yet on whether safety systems were installed, operational, or operating correctly.

One worker was injured, with burns over 30 percent of his body. According to Mr. Garrison, he's doing fine.

So now we wait to find out what, if anything, this manufacturer of high tech lubricants for the aerospace industry, did to prevent the accident, and what they propose to do to make sure this doesn't happen again.

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