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Asbestos discovery following deadly blast

Author : Amy Hollamby

06 July 2010

Some workers at Total 200,000-barrel-a-day Lindsey oil refinery in North Killingholme, Lincolnshire have been told they may not be able to return to work whilst the company cleans up asbestos found at the refinery's crude oil distillation unit, following the deadly fire on the 29th June.

One dead in UK oil refinery blast
One dead in UK oil refinery blast

Asbestos was found at the hydrodesulfurisation  processing unit HDS-3 which is adjacent to the distillation unit. It is believed that asbestos insulation had been disturbed by the blast.

A number of safety assessments have been carried out at the refinery and a clean-up plan of action has been devised and presented to the HSE. Contractors working on the HDS-3 unit have been advised that they will not return to work until the clean-up is complete in that area. Other contractors have agreed to return to work in unaffected areas of the refinery.

Police, safety and environment authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.

The fire started in an industrial heater where the oil is heated to extremely high temperatures. One of the two working crude distillation units (CDU), the large towers used in the first step for processing crude oil in the refining process, was shutdown.

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