Gas Explosion Stuns Food Packaging Giant

CS Disaster Investigation - Food-01Gas Explosion Project Highlights:

  • Disaster Investigation
  • National Code Compliance
  • Corporate Safety/Compliance Program



A Fortune 500 packaged foods company experienced a devastating and deadly gas explosion during the installation and commissioning of new combustion equipment. The explosion killed 6 people, sent over 70 people to the hospital, damaged 100,000 square feet of the plant and released 18,000 pounds of ammonia into the atmosphere.

CS Disaster Investigation - Food-02Solution:

HCS was called to investigate code compliance and maintenance issues, to perform interlock and valve tightness testing as well as gas piping system repairs. During the visit, HCS’s engineers uncovered more than 50 critical failed interlocks, over 30 leaking valves, more than 50 critical and 150 mandatory items on the ovens and boilers.

CS Disaster Investigation - Food-03Benefit:                  

Working diligently with the corporate managers, HCS helped the organization to correct their safety infractions and achieve compliance with NFPA 86 and NFPA 54 Codes through personnel training, gas piping and purging services and annual maintenance from the date of that tragic event through today. HCS and the foods organization work hand in hand to provide annual inspection and testing services at 75 locations in the US and Canada, along with on-site training. Taking a proactive approach to safety will always prove beneficial, as any risk deterred is disaster avoided and potential lives saved.

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