S. Philadelphia refinery blast released 5,000 pounds of a deadly chemical, federal investigators say

Philadelphia dodged several potential catastrophes during a dramatic June 21 refinery blast, which released about 5,239 pounds of a deadly chemical and launched pieces of shrapnel as large as a truck hurtling across the 1,300-acre refinery complex, according to federal findings released Wednesday.

The disaster at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions complex began with the early morning failure of an elbow section of pipe that had corroded to half the thickness of a credit card, according to investigators for the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). A fire triggered three successive explosions, the largest of which blew a fuel tank into massive projectiles, including one weighing 19 tons that traveled 2,100 feet and landed on the opposite bank of the Schuylkill.

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Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer