T2 Laboratories: Why Hazard Recognition is Step 1 in Bolstering Plant Safety

On December 19, 2007, an exothermic reaction at T2 Laboratories, a Jacksonville, Florida-based chemical manufacturer, led to a runaway condition resulting in a massive explosion that killed four workers, injured 32 others and destroyed neighboring businesses. 

That day, the workers were mixing a batch of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MCMT), also known as the gasoline additive Ecotane. Although they had mixed and processed batches of Ecotane at least 100 times before (they started in 2004), they had persistently ignored some early warning signs that foretold the very real possibility of catastrophic failure. 


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