Chemical blast gives Seabrook a shake

Chemical blast gives Seabrook a shake

There are 37 comments on the Houston Chronicle story from Dec 9, 2009, titled Chemical blast gives Seabrook a shake. In it, Houston Chronicle reports that:

A large chemical plant explosion near Seabrook early this morning sent a gigantic plume of smoke billowing into the air, but there were no serious injuries.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Houston Chronicle.

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Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#1 Dec 9, 2009
American Acryl spokeswoman Kelli Gregory said the explosion resulted in no “off-site toxic impact.”

Lie.
inthaknow

Houston, TX

#2 Dec 10, 2009
you have no idea stoner
Bayfisher

Deer Park, TX

#3 Dec 10, 2009
The tank contained toluene, a toxic petroleum byproduct used in paint and gasoline. We were in danger and had the smoke been blowing in a normal direction the new Bayport elementary would have been in the direction of the air flow. But as we were told at a board meeting--"we need to trust the chemical industry" yeah right.
Bayfisher

Deer Park, TX

#4 Dec 10, 2009
Sorry, that's Bayshore Elementary above. Its early.
LPresident

La Porte, TX

#5 Dec 10, 2009
Bayfisher wrote:
The tank contained toluene, a toxic petroleum byproduct used in paint and gasoline. We were in danger and had the smoke been blowing in a normal direction the new Bayport elementary would have been in the direction of the air flow. But as we were told at a board meeting--"we need to trust the chemical industry" yeah right.
remember a few years ago, nova chemical had a heater fire and collapse. that smoke went right over shoreacres and the old elementary. in the grand scheme of things, there really is no "safe" area because we are surrounded on all sides. every school around here is close so the new bayshore is no more dangerous than any other school. yesterday, we were lucky it was a north wind. thats all we have is luck when you live in this area.
inthaknow

Houston, TX

#6 Dec 10, 2009
Considering all areas around that explosion were being monitored, by local fire departments and CIMA, the lockdown was done for safety and precaution. Two victims were transported, with inhalation and minor flash burns.

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#7 Dec 10, 2009
inthaknow wrote:
you have no idea stoner
There is no way for you to have an explosion... with no "offsite toxic impact"... it's impossible... however small it might be... there WILL be SOME toxic impact.
La Porte waters

Pasadena, TX

#8 Dec 10, 2009
I think relying on "luck" to prevent potentially fatal accidents, particularly to school children is beyond absurd. A chemical plant would not locate their control room in the area now occupied by Bayshore Elementary School because of the uncontrolled hazards represented by the proximity to toxic cargo carrying trucks constantly passing by on Hwy 146 within a few yards of this new school.

This explosion would have, with normal wind directions from the SE, caused a serious cloud of thick black smoke from a known hazardous chemical to impact the school. Seabrook schools that are significantly further away were locked down. Certainly, sensitive school children would have been at risk for asthma and other breathing problems and undoubtedly will be when the school is opened.

What should be mentioned, is that LPISD paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a risk analysis by ABS which contained serious mathematical errors that rendered it absolutely meaningless. When using ABS's own data, the probability of the risk of FATAL impact to school children could be correctly calculated to exceed that of a fatal lightening strike during a thunderstorm every single school day. Thus, children should never be allowed to play outside at this school. LPISD and ABS should be held liable for the wanton disregard of the risk that they have imposed on the most vulnerable members of society. Superintendent Graham was told this, and has never bothered to respond.

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#9 Dec 10, 2009
La Porte waters wrote:
I think relying on "luck" to prevent potentially fatal accidents, particularly to school children is beyond absurd. A chemical plant would not locate their control room in the area now occupied by Bayshore Elementary School because of the uncontrolled hazards represented by the proximity to toxic cargo carrying trucks constantly passing by on Hwy 146 within a few yards of this new school.
This explosion would have, with normal wind directions from the SE, caused a serious cloud of thick black smoke from a known hazardous chemical to impact the school. Seabrook schools that are significantly further away were locked down. Certainly, sensitive school children would have been at risk for asthma and other breathing problems and undoubtedly will be when the school is opened.
What should be mentioned, is that LPISD paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a risk analysis by ABS which contained serious mathematical errors that rendered it absolutely meaningless. When using ABS's own data, the probability of the risk of FATAL impact to school children could be correctly calculated to exceed that of a fatal lightening strike during a thunderstorm every single school day. Thus, children should never be allowed to play outside at this school. LPISD and ABS should be held liable for the wanton disregard of the risk that they have imposed on the most vulnerable members of society. Superintendent Graham was told this, and has never bothered to respond.
Amen! The people who put this deal together need to be run out of town!
La Porte waters

Pasadena, TX

#10 Dec 10, 2009
From Ted Powell to KUHF reporter Wendy Seigel:

Heard your news story this AM regarding Wednesdays Seabrook plant explosion. I have to admit that I was disappointed to hear people say that folks living along the ship channel have learned to accept the risk of living there. We should never accept risk, especially regarding our children. We should always strive to identify cost effective ways to mitigate (reduce) our risk .(We do this every day when we drive our cars - by using defensive driving techniques!

Chemical plant employees are trained to scan their job tasks everyday to reduce injury risk.

The new Bayshore elementary is a good example. It is being built along Hwy 146, a very busy hazardous truck route. When LPISD announced plans to build it there one year ago, I and other concerned citizens spoke out about the higher risk this location posed to young students and teachers. LPISD and city officials responded by saying that since we already had a school located on a hazmat route, we knew how to deal with the risk. What they were actually saying, was that they did not have any problem with essentially doubling their (cumulative) risk. Clearly not an acceptable argument to justify the hazmat siting. In fact, my hazmat route risk analysis calculations have conservatively estimated that the Hwy146 site risk to students and teachers will be at least 60x greater than that acceptable for new chemical plant projects, and at least 200x greater than what LPISD (and our society at large) accepts for the fatality threat posed by lightning.(LPISD has a strict lightning threat mitigation policy, located at their website, similar to that used across North America.). LPISD contracted ABS to conduct a formal quantifiable risk analysis (QRA).Their Phase 1 analysis estimated that a Hwy 146 toxic truck spill (i.e.,chlorine, ammonia) could fatality impact the school in ~1 minute. I found their Phase II QRA calculations, issued in May, to have serious errors that significantly underestimated risk. After I advised the superintendent about the errors, a revised ABS QRA was issued in October 2009 (on LPISD website), with the risk values approaching my numbers, but once again serious calculational errors resulted in a lower risk level being reported. I plan to report my findings at the Tuesday night LPISD board meeting. As I stated to the superintendent in September, the school should never have been sited where it is, but now that it is built, LPISD needs to develop a detailed program to identify and implement mitigation systems,procedures and training to insure that the site risks to students and teachers is reduced to a level comparable to that LPISD achieved for lightning hazard mitigation. This will not be cheap, but society should never place children in harms way.
LPresident

Houston, TX

#11 Dec 10, 2009
La Porte waters wrote:
I think relying on "luck" to prevent potentially fatal accidents, particularly to school children is beyond absurd. A chemical plant would not locate their control room in the area now occupied by Bayshore Elementary School because of the uncontrolled hazards represented by the proximity to toxic cargo carrying trucks constantly passing by on Hwy 146 within a few yards of this new school.
This explosion would have, with normal wind directions from the SE, caused a serious cloud of thick black smoke from a known hazardous chemical to impact the school. Seabrook schools that are significantly further away were locked down. Certainly, sensitive school children would have been at risk for asthma and other breathing problems and undoubtedly will be when the school is opened.
What should be mentioned, is that LPISD paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a risk analysis by ABS which contained serious mathematical errors that rendered it absolutely meaningless. When using ABS's own data, the probability of the risk of FATAL impact to school children could be correctly calculated to exceed that of a fatal lightening strike during a thunderstorm every single school day. Thus, children should never be allowed to play outside at this school. LPISD and ABS should be held liable for the wanton disregard of the risk that they have imposed on the most vulnerable members of society. Superintendent Graham was told this, and has never bothered to respond.
the new bayshore is no more dangerous than jenny reid, or rizzuto, or laporte high school. have you ever looked at these plants "worst case scenario" plans they have in place?? dupont makes some stuff that will wipe laporte off the map. thats just one plant. when nova chemicals caught fire a few years ago, the old bayshore would have been shelter in place because the smoke went right over it. everything west of center street "shoreacres" was fine. again, it all depends on wind travel. a vapor cloud has no boundaries. again, luck of the draw when it has to do with mother nature. these plants do everything they can to not release because of the impact it will cause. but sometimes whether it is human or mechanical failure, the wind direction will determine the severity of the impact. so again, there is no such place safer than the other. it all depends on the weather for that day. now that being said, if the new school was done improperly, i am not aware of that. that will be another topic here on topix. just so you know, i have 20 years experience in these plants as well as being an industrial firefighter.so i pretty much know what i am talking about. no, i am not an expert, but i do have the experience.
LPresident

Houston, TX

#12 Dec 10, 2009
another thing, its all an odds game, everything in life is odds are this, odds are that. things in life happen and we have no control over it. what are the chances someone shows up at these schools with a gun? we know thats happened before right? everybody thinks a truck is going to crash right in front of the school. now really, what are the chances of that happening? we know it's possible, but what are the chances? remember when the high school was on lock down for guns? so again, are we really safe? there is really one option if the fear of chemical plants has you worried..move away to chemical plant free town. sorry for sounding harsh but we chose to live here with these plants as our neighbors. its just something we have to deal with. again, we are surrounded by plants that will do more harm than a truck.so you can do all the studies you want, but mother nature will decide where the vapor clouds go.
Bayfisher

Deer Park, TX

#13 Dec 10, 2009
The other schools you mention don't have 5000 trucks a day going by it within 100 yards. As the port grows this is expected to be well over 15000. There are studies out there that schools next to highways have a higher incidence of respiratory illness. These are normal highways, not one with all these diesel trucks. And the likelyhood of an accident is higher than that of your kid being hit by lightning. You wouldn't let your child play outside in a lightning storm would you?
LPresident

La Porte, TX

#14 Dec 10, 2009
Bayfisher wrote:
The other schools you mention don't have 5000 trucks a day going by it within 100 yards. As the port grows this is expected to be well over 15000. There are studies out there that schools next to highways have a higher incidence of respiratory illness. These are normal highways, not one with all these diesel trucks. And the likelyhood of an accident is higher than that of your kid being hit by lightning. You wouldn't let your child play outside in a lightning storm would you?
look, i don't mean to disrespect you and certainly you have a good point. however, wind direction plays a major role in accidents. alot of our schools are placed next to roads that have 18 wheelers on them. jenny reid-fairmont pkwy, baker 6th grade campus spencer, rizzuto 100 yards from spencer. its not like the air quality is only better in laporte, guess what? it's bad everywhere so the school is not the only place the kids are being exposed. all i am saying is one major catastrophe in these plants and we could all be doomed. it doesnt matter where you live, where your kids go to school or where you work. if its big enough, the wind will carry this stuff and we will all be affected. i am willing to bet the schools have better shelter in place than my house. let me ask you this. have you ever smelled grass fire in laporte? every so often, smoke will blow in from the other side of east galveston bay. i am talking about between winnie and gulf of mexico, most of the times you can see it when you look across the bay.i wonder how many miles that is?? now do you understand what i am saying? we are affected by wind travel. don't get me wrong, the school could have been built closer to kids that would like to ride their bikes to school.i agree a nieghborhood school is best, but don't scare the hell out of people trying to make your point. my point is no matter where the school is built, we still are next to chemical plants. we just have to be informed and educated on what to do in an emergency.
Bayfisher

Deer Park, TX

#15 Dec 10, 2009
granted we take risks every day where we live. The state of Texas is considering laws limiting how close to roads you can build a school. As semi educated adults we know what could happen. I am not saying don't build in our area. Right where it is it has been noted that a chemical accident in the plants or on the highway would get to the school in less than 1 minute if the wind is right. Not enough time to even call emergency personel to see what is going on. There is nothing like putting our kids at risk first. Kinda our buffer zone. Great idea.

Another thing, Bayshore as it existed was not that bad. Seabrook Intermediate got more than 12 inches, they are up and running. Lee High School in Baytown also lost it's front 10 rooms. Got it back in working order in two months. I believe the Laporte High School has flooded a couple of times.....better tear it down. For some reason the district had to build a new school, take it out of the community, and show it off on the highway where it is highly visible and also next to a developers neighborhood that wasn't selling. So we, the tax payers pay a couple of million more than the land is worth to build a school in a much unsafer area. Sounds as fishy as my name.

Believe me, I hope nothing ever happens and the kiddos are as safe as can be. I just don't understand the board's decision and the underhanded way they made it. Hopefully they will think twice before making another tough decision and listen to the input from the citizens.
LPresident

La Porte, TX

#16 Dec 10, 2009
Bayfisher wrote:
granted we take risks every day where we live. The state of Texas is considering laws limiting how close to roads you can build a school. As semi educated adults we know what could happen. I am not saying don't build in our area. Right where it is it has been noted that a chemical accident in the plants or on the highway would get to the school in less than 1 minute if the wind is right. Not enough time to even call emergency personel to see what is going on. There is nothing like putting our kids at risk first. Kinda our buffer zone. Great idea.
Another thing, Bayshore as it existed was not that bad. Seabrook Intermediate got more than 12 inches, they are up and running. Lee High School in Baytown also lost it's front 10 rooms. Got it back in working order in two months. I believe the Laporte High School has flooded a couple of times.....better tear it down. For some reason the district had to build a new school, take it out of the community, and show it off on the highway where it is highly visible and also next to a developers neighborhood that wasn't selling. So we, the tax payers pay a couple of million more than the land is worth to build a school in a much unsafer area. Sounds as fishy as my name.
Believe me, I hope nothing ever happens and the kiddos are as safe as can be. I just don't understand the board's decision and the underhanded way they made it. Hopefully they will think twice before making another tough decision and listen to the input from the citizens.
me too!! and just so you know, my child is going to the new bayshore. as far as the school district doing what they did?? i don't have a clue? again, maybe thats something that should be investigated!! you know as well as i do, there are alot of shady deals going on in this town.

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#17 Dec 10, 2009
LPresident wrote:
another thing, its all an odds game, everything in life is odds are this, odds are that. things in life happen and we have no control over it. what are the chances someone shows up at these schools with a gun? we know thats happened before right? everybody thinks a truck is going to crash right in front of the school. now really, what are the chances of that happening? we know it's possible, but what are the chances? remember when the high school was on lock down for guns? so again, are we really safe? there is really one option if the fear of chemical plants has you worried..move away to chemical plant free town. sorry for sounding harsh but we chose to live here with these plants as our neighbors. its just something we have to deal with. again, we are surrounded by plants that will do more harm than a truck.so you can do all the studies you want, but mother nature will decide where the vapor clouds go.
Sure... it's an odds game.

Odds are that if you tie raw meat all over your body and swim off of West beach in Galveston that you are not going to be attacked by a shark... but what kind of a moron is going to do that anyway?

I love how everyone in charge seems comfortable playing the odds with our children's lives.
Bayfisher

Deer Park, TX

#18 Dec 10, 2009
LPresident wrote:
<quoted text>
me too!! and just so you know, my child is going to the new bayshore. as far as the school district doing what they did?? i don't have a clue? again, maybe thats something that should be investigated!! you know as well as i do, there are alot of shady deals going on in this town.
And on that we agree!

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#19 Dec 10, 2009
Bayfisher wrote:
<quoted text>
And on that we agree!
Ditto.

I think that is one point most everyone here can agree on... and that should be our main focus.
La Porte waters

Pasadena, TX

#20 Dec 10, 2009
I don't think that the intent is to scare people. The intent is to hold those who made decisions which deliberately increased risk to children's lives and also increase taxpayer costs on the order of $30 million dollars without real benefit, to be held fully accountable. These elected and appointed officials need to understand that they not only increased the cost to the community, they increased risk to children over a 50 year period. Neither outcome is acceptable.

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