Coker fire 72 hr report

A typical "Delayed Coker"

A typical “Delayed Coker”

A 72 hour report was submitted to Contra Costa Health Services regarding Sunday’s fire in the coker at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo. The report states that the fire started at the top deck when an “Antifoam Day Tank” was overfilled with flammable antifoam solution.

The majority of the fire burned out within 10 minutes, and there was smoldering for about 45 minutes.  A CWS Level 2 alert was made, but the refinery thinks there were no off site impacts due to the lack of complaints and no recorded detection of chemicals leaving the site.

The report details the agencies involved and the times of notifications.  There is no mention of the CWS Level 2 “sensitive receptor” phone message system that the refinery is supposed to implement in such a case.

The investigation is not complete. There will be a 30 day report. Questions remain; what caused the overfilling? Was there another bad level sensor like the one that caused the sour gas tank explosion, or was there a faulty valve position sensor like the one that caused the huge flairing a couple of months ago, or operator error?  And WHY wasn’t the phone system activated?

The 72hr report follows…

Download (PDF, 20B)

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