This Month in Fossil Fuel Safety – German Oil Tanker Fire and Refinery Fires and Pakistan Coal mine kills 52


Firefighters battled an inferno on a German canal after a tanker caught fire while being loaded with highly-flammable fuel. The ship, which had around 900,000 liters (238,000 gallons) of premium gasoline on board, eventually sank next to the dock, with one section still sticking up out of the water. The gasoline also leaked onto the dock and caught fire, a police spokesman said.

2. An explosion Tuesday morning (March 29, 2011) at the Evergreen Oil refinery plant (Newark, California caused a two-alarm fire and injured one employee.

3. –Venezuela’s largest refinery, Amuay, continues operations after an explosion early Tuesday started a fire at one unit’s absorber tower, officials said.

4. US company Exxon Mobil Corp said Tuesday it had resumed most maintenance work at its 605,000-barrel-a-day crude oil refinery in Singapore after a brief suspension earlier on Tuesday following the death of one worker. Two contract workers were found unconscious in an enclosed space filled with nitrogen. One worker died later in hospital, while the other was in a critical condition

5. Rescuers used shovels and bare hands Monday to dig out miners buried after a gas explosion in a coal mine in southwestern Pakistan, lining up wooden caskets to await the bodies from an accident that left 52 people feared dead. By Monday, 27 bodies had been recovered since the accident on Sunday, but an official said “there is zero percent chance” anyone would come out alive. A government inspector said that the mine had been declared dangerous two weeks ago because of the presence of methane gas but that the contractor ignored the warning.

The mine in the far-flung Sorange district of the insurgency-torn province was poorly ventilated poisonous gases to accumulate and cause the three blasts, they said. Rescue work, which was postponed earlier because some of the emergency crew had been left unconscious by the noxious fumes, has been resumed and military experts and engineers have been called in to help. “They are removing debris and are trying to clear the way to move forward but yet we are not able to move forward,” he said, adding that the mine operators had ignored previous warnings to stop mining at the site.

6. The first Kentucky coal-mining death of 2011 has unfortunately occurred after a miner was killed in a Martin County mine on Friday, March 25, 2011.

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