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  • St Lucia quarry explosion kills four

    24 March 2017

    An explosion on the Caribbean island of St Lucia killed four and injured at least 20, with four of the worst affected airlifted to the neighbouring French island of Martinique. Three doctors from Martinique are also at the Victoria Hospital in St Lucia to assist. The explosion occurred at Farrand Quarry, operated by Rayneau Construction, in Cul de Sac, Castries....

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  • Ukraine ammunition storage facility fire causes evacuation of 20,000

    24 March 2017

    Around 20,000 people have been evacuated from the area around the Balakliia ammunition storage facility in the eastern Kharkiv region of Ukraine after it caught fire on the morning of March 23. Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak accused the Russian military or its separatist rebel proxies of setting off the fire, possibly via a drone attack....

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  • One arrested after fatal Cambodia garment factory explosion

    23 March 2017

    Following the deadly explosion on March 22 at Levi’s supplier Zhen Tai Garment factory in Phnom Penh, authorities yesterday arrested a factory employee for alleged negligence. The blast, which occurred in an industrial boiler and sent large pieces of debris flying for some 100 metres, killed one and injured seven others....

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  • World coal plant construction fell significantly in 2016, according to environmental groups

    22 March 2017

    Construction of new coal plants fell sharply last year according to a report published on March 22 by environmental groups Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, and research company CoalSwarm. The report claims that 2016 saw a 48% drop in pre-construction activity, a 62% drop in construction starts, a 19% drop in ongoing construction, and a 29% drop in completed projects....

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  • Proposed US budget targets EPA, regulation and environment initiatives

    21 March 2017

    On March 16, President Donald Trump's administration published its budget plans, which involve reducing the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by 31% and eliminating 3,200 of its employees (19% of the workforce). Other major themes include reducing funding for enforcing regulations, water and air pollution clean-up initiatives, toxic waste site remediation and promoting energy-efficient appliances....

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Three missing after explosion on Chinese tanker 20 March 2017

On March 19, the Chinese product tanker Xing Long Zhou 569 suffered an explosion and fire about 120 nm southeast of Qingdao in the Yellow Sea, according to Xinhua. The Ministry of Transport Beihai Rescue Bureau dispatched two salvage tugs and a helicopter to the scene, and the first responders rescued 13 out of the tanker's 16 crew members. Three seafarers remain missing, Xinhua said...

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US pipeline regulator orders action over leaking Alaska gas pipeline 20 March 2017

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a proposed order that operator Hilcorp fix a leaking gas pipeline in the Cook Inlet off Nikiski in Alaska by May 1 or shut it down. The PHMSA also ordered the company to conduct inspections of a "substantially similar" underwater pipeline that carries crude oil to shore from two offshore production platforms. ...

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Indonesia to sue Thai oil company over 2009 oil spill 20 March 2017

Indonesia is preparing to sue the Australian subsidiary of Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) over alleged environmental damage from the Montara oil spill in 2009, the country's Maritime Affairs Ministry said. This follows the Indonesian government’s December 2016 decision to freeze the licenses and assets of PTTEP operations in Indonesia. ...

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Six killed in explosion at Indian cold storage facility 17 March 2017

Six people were killed, eight injured and others are feared trapped when a cold storage facility collapsed in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, after a gas leak triggered an explosion. Local officials said the explosion was caused by an ammonia leak, and people living nearby complained of breathlessness and nausea and were asked to move out until the gas had dispersed....

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Exploding headphone batteries cause scare on Beijing to Melbourne flight 16 March 2017

A woman’s headphones caused disruption on a flight to Australia after they exploded when she fell asleep listening to music. The unidentified passenger awoke two hours later when she began to feel a burning sensation on her face, according to a release from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). She suffered burns to her face and hands in the incident. ...

Features

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European oil pipelines increasingly impacted by product theft

Concawe, the European pipeline safety and environmental monitoring organisation, has collected 44 years of spillage data on European cross-country oil pipelines. This article, based on selected sections of Concawe Report 7/16 - 'Statistical Summary of Reported Spillages in 2014', covers the performance of these pipelines in 2014, the last year for which statistics are available, and a full historical perspective since 1971. ...

Case Studies

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Vehicles for hazardous areas

With the proliferation of electric vehicles, one area that is seeing particular expansion is that of explosion-proof vehicles are aimed at market segments dealing with potentially hazardous environments such as the chemical and petrochemical industries, oil and gas production sites. In this article, Lamberto Salvan of Italian transport specialist Alkè Electric Vehicles gives an overview of this crucial area....

Comment

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Trump budget would eliminate US Chemical Safety Board

The Trump administration's budget blueprint would scrap the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB), an independent federal agency that investigates major chemical and oil industry incidents. The CSB has no regulatory power but is influential because its recommendations are often adopted by industry and government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)....

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