Another EXPLOSION 15 hurt Aluminum Plant : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Here we go again....CBS news is reporting an explosion at a Louisiana aluminum processing plant....they said it began in the power "shack" of the plant and that 15 people were injured ranging from serious to minor...

Of course this just CANNOT be y2k repair/testing related....or could it?

-- gotitlongago@garynorth. (vacajohn@(nospam), July 05, 1999


Does this mean there will be a shortage of tinfoil hats for the Y2K Rubes?

-- y2k pro (, July 05, 1999.

Dat ain' da real thang. Don' be messin' which yo betters....hear? Ax me good, dissin Sista put yo a** in county....dig?

-- Sista In 'Da Hood (Sista@Da.Hood), July 05, 1999.

Any word on the cause? I just heard about it on the radio.

-- Moore Dinty moore (, July 05, 1999.


Workers Hurt in Chemical Plant Blast (Associated Press) Explosions rocked an aluminum plant early Monday, spraying a red mist containing a corrosive chemical over residential areas and sending dozens of people to hospitals. - Jul 05 4:59 PM EDT

Explosions rock Kaiser plant in Louisiana, 21 hurt (Reuters) (updates number of injured, adds quotes, company statement) GRAMERCY, La., July 5 (Reuters) - A series of explosions rocked the Kaiser Aluminum (NYSE: KLU - news ) plant near Gramercy, La. - Jul 05 7:35 PM EDT

Kaiser Aluminum Issues Press Advisory (BusinessWire) Kaiser Aluminum's Gramercy, Louisiana, alumina refinery was extensively damaged by an explosion at approximately 5:15 this morning. The cause of the explosion is under investigation. - Jul 05 3:01 PM EDT


No word that I can see on the cause.

Kaiser spokesman Scott Lamb said the financial impact of the explosion has not been determined but production of alumina, necessary to manufacture aluminum, will be curtailed for several months.

The Gramercy facility has an annual rated production capacity of about 1 million metric tons per year of alumina. Kaiser Aluminum's total annual production of alumina is about 3 million metric tons.

-- Linda (, July 05, 1999.

Sista, which part of white suburbia are you from? Tip. You need to be schooled in current slang if you want to pull off your sorry act. Otherwise, you're writing like a preppy doing a bad ebonics imitation. Bring yourself down to my 'hood' and I'll have some friends help you out. Otherwise, find some other forum to tro

-- No Friend of this 'Sista' (livin' in the real, July 06, 1999.

I think the reason that these explosions (mostly electric utilities or in the case of Ford Plant in Michigan, and this one the power facility of the plant may be related) if they are a consequence of Y2K testing or implementation of new equipment, are not being reported as Y2K would have to be because the insurance companies have issued Y2K waivers on claims of liabilities for Y2K related problems. So they can't get the money if they claim it as such. So we have just another explosion was created by a faulty piece of equipment or some such blather.. I don't know what the exact number is, but I have been noticing all these explosions since around the end of last year. Lets see, Ford in Michigan, Electric Utilities in Florida, Kansas, Two in South America, Oil retention Facilities in California, and now Power Plant in chemical company that processes Aliuminum. That just off the top of the head. When a sewage plant has a problem we get 4 million gallons with Logs of you know what on the streets, but hey nobody died.. When a chem plant blows because a valve didn't open, and failed to inform the control room or such then people die.. Y2K.. Naww couldn't happen. Its like wildfire now.. gotta run its course.

-- Slammer (Slammer@Slamma.Ramma), July 06, 1999.

Up on AP Breaking News (URL worthless in a couple hours)

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

7/6/99 -- 4:45 AM

Plant blast causes widespread sickness; 2 workers critical

GRAMERCY, La. (AP) - Two aluminum plant workers were in critical condition today after explosions that injured at least 13 colleagues and sent a caustic chemical into the community, sickening 100 people. Investigators have not determined what caused the three explosions early Monday at the Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Co. The blasts killed no one but sent residents to hospitals with nausea and respiratory problems after a reddish cloud of bauxite ore and sodium hydroxide blew into town.

The explosions, heard miles from the plant about 40 miles west of New Orleans, shook houses and broke windows, and residents were told to stay inside for nearly seven hours.

``It sounded like 10 shotguns fired all at once,'' said Cline Cockburn, who lives about 600 yards from the plant.

The critically injured workers have burns covering half their bodies, officials at Baton Rogue General Hospital said. Two others also remain in the hospital's burn unit in stable condition.

Injuries to other workers included difficulty breathing and eye irritation, State Police Sgt. William Davis said.

The explosions happened in a part of the plant where electricity is generated and where the ore and liquid sodium hydroxide are mixed.

Debris will be examined by company and federal investigators.

Since January, about 3,000 United Steelworkers members have been locked out of the Gramercy plant and other Kaiser facilities in Washington state and Ohio. The workers went on strike in September over pay, benefits and job security issues.

Kaiser, the nation's fifth largest aluminum company, has kept the plants running with a combination of management and replacement workers.

The Gramercy plant may remain closed for several months, said Kaiser spokesman Scott Lamb.
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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, July 06, 1999.

This type of life & health-threatening situation is very likely before, during, and after Rollover, so protect yourself & your family: preplan and make your kit NOW!

Shelter In Place: Make Your Kits

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, July 06, 1999.

Based only on the information contained in this thread about this situation and explosion, I would think it far more likely that the explosion was the result of a manager or replacement worker doing a job which he was inexperienced at and just plain "screwing up".

My next likeliest guess would be that "someone" caused the explosion on purpose for some reason related to the on-going labor dispute.

As I've pointed out before on this forum, when a complex system experiences a failure, the most likely result is that the system simply will stop. Dramatic results such as explosions or catastrophic releases of noxious substances will occur, but will be few and far between. That scarcity however, will not mitigate their effects when they do occur and if you're involved in such a situation, statistics will not mean very much to you. Leska's advice to plan and prepare is well taken.

I'd bet money though that this explosion was not Y2K related.

-- Hardliner (, July 06, 1999.

I've got to go with Hardliner on this. Tired management and "replacement" (read temporary) workers and touchy process controls are not a good combination.

Remember the "Red Truck" syndrome.

-- Jon Williamson (, July 06, 1999.

Human error, machine error, Y2K testing glitch, disgruntled workers sabatoge, or even... terrorism?

Whatever the cause, the effects are widespread, and ripple beyond the local community...

...HAZMAT-wise and economic-wise.


A refresher link...

From a company, Factory Mutual, that insures process control equipment.


All companies with such equipment, regardless of industry, could be impacted by Year 2000 related problems.

 ...there is the potential for serious equipment and facility damage as a result of minor glitches in computerized equipment, shutdowns of systems, and/or loss of utilities.


Illustrations of Related Process Control Problems...

The following examples, while not necessarily related to Year 2000 date problems, illustrate the types of potential exposures a business could face as the result of Year 2000 induced process control problems. This is not intended to infer that these are the only Year 2000 process control issues possible.

See... Explosions

A malfunctioning programmable controller operating a fuel mixer dropped the mixing bowl and turned on the mixer. This caused the mixer blades to contact the mixer bowl. Friction ignited the mixture in the mixer bowl. Ignition caused an explosion damaging several buildings.

[snip--to end--quite a read!]

-- Diane J. Squire (, July 06, 1999.

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