The following historical incidents provide some perspective on the magnitude of the consequences that might result from the kinds of terrorist attacks described in the scenarios in Chapter 3. These incidents also served as a basis for the development of those four scenarios. This is not a comprehensive list of all relevant historical incidents in the chemical industry.
Stage One Historical Analogies (single event, no cascading events)
Facility: Azote de France Fertilizer Factory (owned by Atofina)
Location: Toulouse, France
Date of Event: September 21, 2001
Chemical(s) involved: Ammonium nitrate
Consequences of Event: 30 killed (7 off-site), 800 hospitalized, 2,400 injured, shock wave of 3.4 on the Richter scale, 50-foot crater resulted; 500
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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities Appendix A Historical Scenarios The following historical incidents provide some perspective on the magnitude of the consequences that might result from the kinds of terrorist attacks described in the scenarios in Chapter 3. These incidents also served as a basis for the development of those four scenarios. This is not a comprehensive list of all relevant historical incidents in the chemical industry. High-Volume Storage Scenario Toxic or Flammable Chemicals at Fixed Sites Stage One Historical Analogies (single event, no cascading events) Facility: Azote de France Fertilizer Factory (owned by Atofina) Location: Toulouse, France Date of Event: September 21, 2001 Chemical(s) involved: Ammonium nitrate Event: Explosion Consequences of Event: 30 killed (7 off-site), 800 hospitalized, 2,400 injured, shock wave of 3.4 on the Richter scale, 50-foot crater resulted; 500
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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities homes uninhabitable and 85 schools or colleges damaged; chemical releases and structural damages at other facilities.1 Facility: Phillips Petroleum Location: Pasadena, Texas Date of Event: October 23, 1989 Chemical(s) involved: Plastics manufacturing Event: An explosion in a polyethylene reactor was caused when a seal blew out on an ethylene loop reactor, releasing ethylene-isobutane and setting off a series of fires and explosions. Consequences of Event: 23 fatalities, 130-300 injured; extensive facility damage.2 Facility: Marathon Refinery Location: Texas City, Texas Date of Event: 1987 Chemical(s) involved: Hydrofluoric acid Event: Construction at Marathon refinery severs a pipe on an anhydrous hydrofluoric acid storage tank, releasing gas that forms a dense hydrofluoric acid vapor cloud that migrates through the community. Consequences of Event: Approximately 4,000 people were evacuated and more than 1,000 were treated for injuries.3 Facility: BP Refinery Location: Texas City, Texas Date of Event: March 23, 2005 Chemical(s) involved: Unknown Event: Overfill of flammable hydrocarbons in the tower of an octane boosting unit led to an explosion. 1 Dechy, N., T. Bourdeaux, N. Ayrault, M-A. Kordek, and J.C. Le Coze. 2004. First lessons of the Toulouse ammonium nitrate disaster, 21st September 2001, AZF plant, France. Journal of Hazardous Materials 111:131-138. 2 U.S. Fire Administration. 1989. Phillips Petroleum Chemical Plant Explosion and Fire: Pasadena, Texas, USFA-TR-035. Emmitsburg, MD. 3 Health and Safety Executive. Accident Summary: Release of Hydrofluoric Acid from Marathon Petroleum Refinery, Texas, USA, 30th October 1987. Available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/comah/sragtech/casemarathon87.htm.
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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities Consequences of Event: 15 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded.4 Facility: Union Carbide Corporation Location: Bhopal, India Date of Event: December 3, 1984 Chemical(s) involved: Methyl isocyanate (MIC) Event: A relief valve lifted on a storage tank containing MIC, subsequently releasing a cloud of MIC gas onto residential areas surrounding the plant. Consequences of Event: 3,000-7,000 people were killed immediately; 20,000 cumulative deaths; 200,000-500,000 injured; posttraumatic stress; continued medical consequences.5 Stage Two Historical Analogies (initial event with cascading events or major toxic release) Facility: PEMEX LPG Terminal Location: Mexico City Date of Event: 1984 Chemical(s) involved: Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Event: The rupture of a transfer pipe produced a gas cloud that ignited a flare stack. At a late stage, the emergency shutdown button was pressed. About 15 minutes after the initial release the first boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion occurred. For the next hour and a half, a series of boiling liquid expanding vapor explosions followed as the LPG vessels exploded violently. LPG was said to rain down and surfaces covered in the liquid were set alight. The explosions were recorded on a seismograph at the University of Mexico. Consequences of Event: 650 dead; 6,400 injured.6 Facility: SS Grandcamp. Location: Texas City, Texas Date of Event: April 16, 1947 4 See the following web site for more information: http://www.galvnews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=f21798a1b23f8be1. 5 Lees, Frank. 1996. Loss Prevention in the Process Industries 3:A5.1-A5.11. 6 Details available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/comah/sragtech/casepemex84.htm.
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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities Chemical(s) involved: Ammonium nitrate Event: Cargo of ammonium nitrate on the ship SS Grandcamp caught fire and eventually exploded at the loading dock. Consequences of Event: More than 560 killed and 2,000 injured (unable to apportion the number killed or injured by the immediate explosion from those killed by cascading events that reflect the second portion of the scenario); explosion heard 150 miles away. There was also an explosion of a second ship containing ammonium nitrate. Other chemical releases and structural damage occurred at the nearby Monsanto Chemical Co. and other facilities.7 Facility: Ashland Oil Company, Inc. Location: Floreffe, Pennsylvania Date of Event: January 1988 Chemical(s) involved: Oil Event: A 4 million gallon oil storage tank owned by Ashland Oil Company, Inc., split apart and collapsed at an oil storage facility near the Monongahela River. The tank split while being filled to capacity for the first time after it had been dismantled and moved from an Ohio location and reassembled at the Floreffe facility. The split released diesel oil over the tank’s containment dikes, across a parking lot on an adjacent property, and into an uncapped storm drain that emptied directly into the river.8 Consequences of Event: The oil spill temporarily contaminated drinking water sources for an estimated 1 million people in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio; contaminated river ecosystems; killed wildlife; damaged private property; and adversely affected businesses in the area; more than 511,000 gallons of diesel fuel remain unrecovered and are presumed to be in the rivers. Facility: Motiva Enterprises, LLC Location: Delaware City, Delaware Date of Event: July 17, 2001 7 See the following web site for more information: http://www.local1259iaff.org/report.htm. 8 Ashland Oil Spill, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Available at http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/super/PA/ashlandoil/.
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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities Chemical(s) involved: Sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid Event: Welding operations on a catwalk triggered a fire that propagated into an explosion in the confined headspace of a large storage tank, causing its catastrophic collapse and release of its contents. Consequences of Event: Collapse of a spent sulfuric acid storage tank (more than 250,000 gallons), triggered releases from nearby tanks, killed one contract worker, and caused a large fish kill. Other commonly bermed tanks were immersed in concentrated sulfuric acid for several days until they could be drained, but they did not fail.9 Facility: First Chemical Corporation Location: Pascagoula, Mississippi Date of Event: October 13, 2002 Chemical(s) involved: Mononitrotoluene Cause of Event: A 145-foot-tall mononitrotoluene distillation tower exploded, injuring three workers; large projectiles of debris ruptured a large mononitrotoluene storage tank, damaged other plant equipment, and ignited fires on- and off-site; projectiles missed nearby storage vessels containing high volumes of ammonia, hydrogen, refined petroleum liquids and gases, and other hazardous materials.10 Consequences of Event: Three workers injured; fires, projectiles, and other damage to the plant and plant equipment. High-Volume Transport Scenario Location: Baltimore, Maryland Date of Event: July 18, 2001 Chemical(s) involved: Hydrochloric acid, ethylhexyl phthalate, and tripropylene glycol Event: An eastbound CSX1 freight train derailed 11 of its 60 cars while passing through the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland. Four of the 11 derailed cars were tank cars containing tripropylene, hydrochloric acid, and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. The derailed tank car containing tripropylene was punctured, and the escaping tripropylene ignited. The fire spread to the contents of several adjacent cars, creating heat, smoke, and 9 http://www.csb.gov/completed_investigations/docs/DS-MotivaIR-090602.pdf. 10 http://www.csb.gov/completed_investigations/docs/FirstChemFinalReport.pdf.
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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities fumes that restricted access to the tunnel for several days. A 40-inch-diameter water main directly above the tunnel broke in the hours following the accident and flooded the tunnel with millions of gallons of water. Consequence of Event: Five emergency responders sustained minor injuries while responding to the incident, but there were no deaths as a result of the event. Emergency operations in the City of Baltimore were occupied by the incident, and the north-south transportation corridor on the East Coast was disrupted for days. Total costs associated with the accident, including response and cleanup costs, were estimated at about $12 million.11 Location: Graniteville, South Carolina Date of Event: January 2005 Chemical(s) involved: Chlorine Event: Due to an improperly set switch, a 42-car train collided with a parked train. The accident led to the puncture of a tank car containing chlorine. Consequence of Event: Nine people died as a result of exposure to chlorine; more than 250 were sent to the hospital, and 5,400 were evacuated.12 Location: Mississauga, Ontario Date of Event: November 1979 Chemical(s) involved: Propane, styrene, chlorine, and caustic soda Event: A Canadian Pacific train lost a wheel resulting in the derailment of 24 cars. Six of these cars separately contained propane, styrene, chlorine, caustic soda, and fiberglass insulation. The mixture of these chemicals caused an explosion that could be seen more than 100 km away and the mixture of chlorine and styrene, with sunlight as a catalyst, created mace. Consequence of Event: Although there were no fatalities or serious injuries, approximately 250,000 residents were evacuated for almost a week.13 11 National Transportation Safety Board. 2001. Railroad Accident Brief. Available at http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2004/RAB0408.pdf. 12 http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/83/i03/8303notw1.html. 13 City of Mississauga. Train Derailment. Available at http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/cityhall/trainderailment.
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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities Chemical Shortage Scenario The following flu outbreaks provide a basis for assessing the magnitude of these events. Date Fatalities Mortality Rate Spanish flu (U.S.) 1918-1919 670,000 6.5/1,000 Asian flu (U.S.) 1957-1958 70,000 Normal year (U.S.) 36,000 (200,000 hospitalizations) 0.07/1,000 Misuse Scenario Location: Chicago, Illinois Date of Event: 1982 Substance(s) involved: Cyanide, Tylenol Event: Seven people died as a result of taking Tylenol that had been contaminated with cyanide. A wave of copycat poisonings in the following years led to additional deaths. Consequence of Event: To restore consumer confidence, new packaging procedures were implemented by all manufacturers. The Tylenol case was never solved. As a result, the company’s market value fell by $1 billion.14 Location: The Dalles, Oregon Date of Event: 1984 Substance(s) involved: Salmonella typhimurium Event: A series of restaurant salad bars were intentionally contaminated with S. typhimurium in an effort to affect the results of a local election. Consequence of Event: Twelve percent of the town became ill and a third of the town’s restaurants were closed. Location: On the East Coast Date of Event: Fall 2001 Substance(s) involved: Anthrax Event: Letters laced with the bacteria Bacillus anthracis, commonly known as anthrax, were mailed to two U.S. Senators and a variety of media outlets. 14 http://www.mallenbaker.net/csr/CSRfiles/crisis02.html.
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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities The anthrax attacks occurred over the course of several weeks beginning on September 18, 2001. The crime is suspected to be domestic and intended to frighten and raise public fear rather than kill large numbers of people.15 There were also occurrences of copycat letters being mailed. Contaminated sites were closed for cleanup ranging from three months to more than three and a half years. Estimated costs for decontamination of these sites were approximately $242.5 million.16 Consequence of Event: Five people were killed including two postal workers, a nurse, a Connecticut woman, and an American Media, Inc., worker. The crime remains unsolved. Location: Belgium Date of Event: June 1999 Substance(s) involved: Dioxin Event: In June 1999 the Belgian government discovered that fat laced with dioxin—a carcinogenic by-product of the manufacture of some herbicides and pesticides—was used to make feed for poultry, pork, and cattle. Consequence of Event: An initial ban on poultry resulted when some chickens showed levels of dioxin up to 1,000 times the accepted limits. Soon there was speculation that beef and pork could also be contaminated. Subsequently, the government withdrew all beef, pork, and poultry products from supermarkets throughout Belgium. Police went on alert to make sure no poultry, pigs, or cattle were slaughtered or transported anywhere and went from shop to shop to ensure that all contaminated food had been removed from the shelves. Other countries including Greece, Britain, France, Switzerland, Romania, and the United States imposed bans on imports of Belgian animal products. Russian health authorities also confiscated 20 tons of ground turkey because of fears of dioxin contamination. This had an almost immediate impact on jobs in the meat industry in Belgium where one company had to lay off 1,000 of its 1,200 workers. This crisis did not result in any injuries, and lab test results subsequently revealed inconsequential levels of dioxin in these foods.17 15 http://www.nti.org/f_wmd411/f1a6_5.html. 16 Kempter, Jeff. 2005. Update on Building Contamination. Presented to the National Academies’ Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, April 26. 17 Associated Press. 1999. What’s for dinner? In Belgium, not much.