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Nick Chumo Addy Hellebusch Matt Kelley Chris Williams. The Mexico City Explosion of 1984. Introduction. November 19, 1984 San Juanico ; a suburb of Mexico City 20 km outside of Mexico City 40,000 residents Low income families Homes as close as 130m to plant. Plant and “Process”.

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Nick chumo addy hellebusch matt kelley chris williams

Nick Chumo

AddyHellebusch

Matt Kelley

Chris Williams

The Mexico City Explosion of 1984


Introduction
Introduction

  • November 19, 1984

  • San Juanico; a suburb of Mexico City

  • 20 km outside of Mexico City

  • 40,000 residents

  • Low income families

  • Homes as close as 130m to plant


Plant and process
Plant and “Process”

  • Pemex State Oil Company

  • Storage & Distribution facility for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

    • LPG comes in from 3 different refineries

  • 54 LPG storage tanks- 16,000m3

    • Daily throughput- 5,000m3

    • 6 large spherical tanks

      • 2 largest holding 2400m3

    • 48 smaller tanks of various sizes

  • Built to API Standards


Right before e xplosion
Right Before Explosion

  • Being filled from a refinery 400km away

  • 11,000m3 LPG on site

  • Fall in pressure

    • The cause of the pressure drop was unidentified

    • no one initiated emergency shutdown


Pemex b efore
Pemex Before



What happened
What Happened

  • One of the deadliest industrial disasters in world history

  • The initial vapor cloud explosion was the start of a chain reaction of explosions

  • There were 19 explosions

    • 15 cylindrical tanks

    • The 4 smaller spheres

  • Many of the explosions were BLEVEs

    • The relative times can be told from seismic readings


What happened cont
What Happened cont.

  • Most of the damage to the city was from fires not the explosions

  • Fragments from the tanks reached over 1,200 m away

    • The fragments were hot enough to start fires

    • Pieces trailed raining LPG as they flew

  • A concentrated rescue effort was put into action with 3000 rescuers on site

  • 200 firefighters risked their lives


Accident timeline
Accident Timeline

  • 5:30am Rupture of 8 in. pipe; Pressure drop in control room

  • 5:40am Ignition of gas cloud; Violent combustion and high flame

  • 5:45am First explosion on seismograph, a BLEVE; Fire department called

  • 5:46am Second BLEVE, one of the most violent

  • 6:00am Police alerted and civilian traffic stopped

  • 6:30am Traffic chaos


Accident timeline cont
Accident Timeline cont.

  • 7:01am Last explosion on seismograph, a BLEVE

  • 7:30am Continuing tank explosions

  • 8-10:00am Rescue work at its height

  • 11:00am Last tank explosion

  • 12-6:00pm Rescue work continues

  • 11:00pm Flames extinguished on last large sphere

  • 10:00am Last fires put out (next day)


Root causes
Root Causes

  • Official cause of rupture is unknown

  • One report cited

    • Overfilled tank caused the inlet line to rupture

    • Failure of relief valve


Results
Results

  • 500-600 deaths; 300+ never identified

  • 5000-7000 severe injuries

  • 10,000-60,000 people made homeless

  • 31 million dollars of damages

  • Destruction of 1/3 of the LPG supply to Mexico City




Future preventions
Future Preventions

  • Timely inspections

  • Maintain industrial standards

  • Better maintenance

  • Effective operator training

  • Housing appropriate distance away


Future preventions cont
Future Preventions cont.

  • Proper layout of large LPG storages

  • Gas detection and emergency isolation

  • Water system failures

  • Extra water hydrants in the streets

  • Planned evacuation routes


S ummary
Summary

  • This deadly disaster struck the morning of November 19, 1984

  • Lasted from 5:30am till 10:00am the next day

  • Left hundreds dead and thousands injured and homeless

  • Many lessons can be learned from the tragedy



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