July 2018

Maintenance/Reliability

Better practices for tank overfill prevention

The 2005 Buncefield and 2009 CAPECO terminal explosions are two of the most significant storage tank incidents in history.

Blundell, R., Carmagen Engineering, Inc.

The 2005 Buncefield and 2009 CAPECO terminal explosions are two of the most significant storage tank incidents in history. Together, they resulted in dozens of injuries, and aggregate costs were in the billions of dollars. Both incidents occurred when tanks were being filled with gasoline, a common operation seen daily at refineries and distribution terminals. While each incident presented its own causal factors, a deeper examination reveals commonalities. Personnel involved in each of these scenarios were operating without a functioning level instrument on storage tanks, resulting in losses of containment and significant explosions. In both cases, ensuing investigations determined that per

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