Explosion at Glycerin Plant in Defiance, Ohio

by | Mar 22, 2024 | Industrial Accident, Personal Injury

There was an explosion at the Glycerin Traders plant in Defiance, Ohio on March 20, 2024.  According to reports, the explosion caused significant damage to the plant, and at least one person was seriously injured.  The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

An explosion at a glycerin products plant could stem from several potential causes, each posing a unique set of risks due to the chemical properties of glycerin and the processes involved in its production and handling. Glycerin, known for its wide range of applications in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries, can become hazardous under certain conditions, particularly when improperly managed or combined with incompatible substances.

One primary cause of an explosion in such a facility could be the mishandling of raw materials or finished glycerin products, leading to a dangerous reaction. Glycerin itself is relatively stable, but it can react violently when mixed with strong oxidizers or under extreme conditions of heat and pressure. The manufacturing process often involves the use of catalysts and high temperatures to split fats into glycerin and fatty acids, a stage where any deviation from controlled conditions can lead to overheating and potentially trigger an explosive reaction. Additionally, glycerin’s ability to absorb water from the air can concentrate existing reactive substances, increasing the risk of spontaneous combustion if these substances are exposed to ignition sources.

Another potential cause is the accumulation of dust in the plant. Glycerin production, like many industrial processes, can generate fine particulate matter. When this dust becomes airborne in sufficient concentration, it can form an explosive cloud. All it would then require is an ignition source—such as static electricity, an open flame, or even a spark from machinery—to trigger a devastating explosion. Ensuring rigorous dust control measures, adequate ventilation, and strict adherence to safety protocols is crucial in mitigating this risk. These examples underscore the importance of meticulous process control, regular maintenance, and strict safety standards in preventing accidents and ensuring the safe operation of glycerin production facilities.

There have been a number of incidents at industrial and manufacturing plants.  There was a fire at the Phillips 66 refinery in Billings, Montana on February 9, 2024.  A worker was killed while operating a lift in Spartanburg, South Carolina on February 14, 2024.  There was an oil tank fire at the F.O. Day Bituminous Company asphalt plant in Montgomery County, Maryland on March 14, 2024.

Those touched by an industrial accident should know their legal rights and remedies, and act quickly to preserve them. Our attorneys have extensive experience in cases involving industrial and plant personal injury and wrongful death, including those caused by equipment malfunctioning.  The firm has experience in courts across the country and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or as a result of an explosion, or been seriously injured.

The experienced attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident at a plant or refinery.  Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.