The Williams Olefins Incident- The Day Multiple Safety Errors Led to a Major Chemical Plant Blast

Part 1: How the disaster happened 

The explosion, which occurred on June 13, 2013, took place when heat levels began to rise in an offline “reboiler”. This increase in heat created an intense amount of pressure due to liquid thermal expansion. The reboiler shell catastrophically ruptured, triggering a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE) and fire. 

All it took was three minutes.  The Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar, Louisiana, which was routinely executing everyday operations, was instantly transformed into a scene of destruction, panic and mayhem. 


Learn how safety system designers are choosing the level of integration appropriate for the specific application and control philosophy.
While Layers of Protection should remain functionally independent from each other, it’s also important streamline the management of process safety.
Best practices for avoiding common cause failure and preventing cyber security
attacks in Safety Systems