Update: Tank rupture blamed on faulty welding

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An interesting question would be: what caused the weld to fail, e.g., an increase in tank pressure. Note that question is neither asked nor answered. More bad reporting.

Tank rupture blamed on faulty welding

No one agency responsible for construction check

BY LUCY MAY The Cincinnati Enquirer A tank rupture in Riverside this month likely was caused by faulty welding when the tank was built, and investigators have found that nobody seems to monitor how such tanks are constructed.

The Cincinnati Fire Division continues to investigate the incident, and officials are exploring ways for authorities to get more involved with inspecting tanks as they're built, said Fire Capt. Robert Becker.

It seems like there wasn't one agency in particular that would monitor the construction of these tanks, he said. In the future, we're going to attempt to get more control over these things.

The State Fire Marshal's Office is working with the Cincinnati Fire Division to determine whether the welding problem was an abnormality or whether it might be a problem in other tanks similarly built, said State Fire Marshall Robert R. Rielage.

It has the possibility of being, perhaps, a much larger situation, he said.

The tank owned by Southside River Rail ruptured Jan. 8, spilling 882,000 gallons of liquid farm fertilizer into the Ohio River and onto the ground. The force of the spill pushed two trucks into the river, breaking a cord that moored a barge nearby. Because the spill happened on a Saturday, no employees were around. Nobody was hurt. The solution that spilled wasn't hazardous.

Authorities are not sure yet how they can oversee the construction of such tanks to try to prevent similar accidents. Capt. Becker said a city ordinance or state regulation might be needed to give local inspectors more authority. Capt. Becker said that after the spill Southside River Rail found five other tanks at the site with similar welds. Company spokeswoman Jody Mangeot did not return calls.

When such tanks are built, the weld is supposed to go all the way through the wall of the tank, Capt. Becker said. But the weld did not go all the way through the wall that ruptured, and the tank failed after several years of use, he said.

The Cincinnati Fire Division has not issued its final investigative report, but Capt. Becker said investigators are confident the faulty weld caused the problem.

The hazardous materials unit of the FBI had been monitoring the investigation but ended its involvement after it became clear the rup ture was caused by the failure of the tank rather than by foul play, said Cincinnati FBI spokesman Ed Boldt.

Capt. Becker said the fire division has formed a committee and is working with the state fire marshal and industry representatives to determine how authorities can better monitor tank construction.

The group also hopes to get help from the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, D.C., which promulgates industry standards for storage tanks.

Link to story:


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 27, 2000


"An Interesting Question Would Be:" why are you posting this?

What does this have to do with Y2K and/or Faulty Computer Data due to Y2K problems?

I'll bet you don't have clue as to how this tank was assembled do you?

Do you think Computer-Controlled Robot arms welded this tank?

No, it was a bunch of guys. A bunch of humans either with MIG welders or STICK. And the welds were not inspected with ultrasound scanners, like the welds in beams that go in large buildings.

At least Homer's findings have an apparent Y2K link. What's yours?

Delete please.

-- plonk! (realaddress@hotmail.com), January 27, 2000.

wattsamatter "plonk", does it get your goat that there's a reporter around here who knows which questions to ask? Or would you prefer they didn't get asked? Your agenda is showing....

-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 27, 2000.

your wannabe reporter question:

CARL: "An interesting question would be: what caused the weld to fail, e.g., an increase in tank pressure. Note that question is neither asked nor answered."

The story contained the ANSWER to your (OT for this forum) question:

"When such tanks are built, the weld is supposed to go all the way through the wall of the tank, Capt. Becker said. But the weld did not go all the way through the wall that ruptured, and the tank failed after several years of use, he said."

As welder, I understand that answer. And there isn't much more to it.
The welder went too fast and didn't weld HOT enough.

that means the "question" WAS asked and WAS answered!


You really should read some of the stuff you post.

also, as a "wannabe" reporter, who simply copies the work of others and then somehow takes claim for asking "the right" questions, maybe you should contact Lucy May, the reporter who did this story.

By the way, have you read this?: http://cincinnati.com/copyright/

-- plonk! (realaddress@hotmail.com), January 27, 2000.

oh and my "agenda" is showing....

and what pray tell would that be?

-- plonk! (realaddress@hotmail.com), January 27, 2000.

Uh, plonk, you're gonna get an ulcer. Your reporter did not answer the question regarding what caused the weld to fail.

In basic logic the kinds of tactics you resort to are called begging the question and arguments against the man.

Here's a simple explanation of embedded chips which may, or may not be applicable to the tank failure. For example, an embedded system monitoring tank pressure could have failed.

Simplistic explanation of embedded chips(for plonk):

An embedded chip (Chip A) is placed in a natural gas pipeline to monitor for gas pressure. When queried by the computer, the chip responds with the gas pressure. Another chip (Chip B) opens and closes a valve which allows the gas into this pipeline, which is a branch off of the main. Using this arrangement, the computer can balance pressures in gas pipelines by obtaining the pressure, then opening or closing valves of various branches to balance the pressures. An explosion ( resulting from a state of over pressurization of the pipeline) can occur if Chip A fails to accurately report the pressure or if Chip B fails to open or close the valve to regulate flow into the branch pipe. After rollover, when queried by the computer, some chips failed to report the pressure and would respond only with an error message. In earlier tests late last year, it was found that a chip such a B might respond to a computer command to open a valve but would not respond to a second computer command to reclose the valve, after rollover. This type of arrangement is also used in refineries to monitor pressures within pipelines. The chips are also used to monitor flow rates of oil with the pipelines, to calculate the number of gallons that have gone through the pipe, and to monitor temperatures.

-- Y2kObserver (Y2kObserver@nowhere.com), January 21, 2000.

Oh and any reports on this forum are for education, discussion and research purposes only. I make no money for the public service I provide by digging them up (even the examples of poor reporting like the one above).

-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 28, 2000.

Simple structural failure - the EPA would be responsible for the penalty phase, the local Civil Engineering Borad is responsible for investigating (and punishing) the contractor/owner of the tank for the faulty construction.

Yes - this isn't y2k-induced failure specifically...the age of the tank, and the simple "mechanical" failure of the weld over time has nothing to do with y2k or controller failure.....MOST LIKELY, the weight of the liquid fertilizer was enough (in a venteed liquid tank like this one) to burst the sides, overpressure (as from a pipeline into a pressuized or liquid natural gas tank) isn't likely the primary means for the rupture.

BUT - Did you get the REAL y2k0impact?

THE FBI WAS CALLED IN WHEN A TANK FAILED....merely "to investigate sabotage potential", but the fact that it ws called in is very telling. This was a tank weld failure - easily proveable from even a cursory examination of the steel.....but they still called in the FBI. This wasn't interstate commerce, wasn't a kidnapping, wasn't a bomb....the tank broke.

They must be [privately] much more scared of terrorism than they are [publicallly] telling us, folks.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), January 28, 2000.

Robert, you do make a good point on why the FBI would be there, if this WAS a failed attempt to detonate this fertilizer, that would be their jurisdiction.
Was it ammonium nitrate fertilizer though? We'll never know of course, because it was "poor reporting". (???)

and brush up on your copyright law Carl-

You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute in any way any material from this site including code and software. You may download material from this site for your personal, non-commercial use only, provided you keep intact all copyright and other proprietary notices.

looks like you forgot something.

You can keep doing it, until of course, "someone" complains.
That's why "some" people use fake email addresses.

And btw- my "agenda" is this:
I want the truth, I want to know what REALLY happened.
I want to know what is REALLY happening.

I'm so very tired of speculation.

-- plonk! (realaddress@hotmail.com), January 28, 2000.

You realize now that you've created (another) monitored thread here don't you. You just flipped another of their buzz words......

Even ammonium nitrate (by itself, as a pure liquid), is relatively stable - assuming that's what is was in the tank went it burst.

It's only explosive when mixed (in the approximately correct proportions) with a secondary source of the other chemicals (usually fuel oil, as at OKC). Either by themselves are stable.

To a terrorist, spilled ammonium nitrate is worthless, especially if it spiled into the river or dirt......then you either have VERY dilute ammonium nitrate, or useless "dirt" - that is VERY good fertilizer.

My opinion? A simple tank break.

The owner is responible for polution, the owner is responsible for periodic inspections of his facilities. We don't need another government agency on our throats forcing inspections....the OSHA people are already trying to get in our bathrooms of the work-at-home/small-medium businesses to inspect for handicapped access and the right posting of safety signs in the break room.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), January 28, 2000.

sorry Robert.

Could you post a list of those "buzz words" ;^>

oops, sorry, it went to the top again.

-- plonk! (realaddress@hotmail.com), January 28, 2000.

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