This is the CSB case study of the Imperial Sugar refinery explosion in Port Wentworth, GA on February 7, 2008. The Imperial Sugar explosion is the deadliest industrial dust explosion suffered in the United States in several decades. The video segment includes a new four-minute 3-D computer animation depicting the first explosion – known as a “primary event” – that likely occurred inside a recently enclosed sugar conveyor, which was followed by massive secondary dust explosions that destroyed the plant’s sugar packing buildings.
Type of Material:
Case study, consisting of written reports and a multimedia video presentation.
Case study to supplement Investigation or Inspection classes. May serve as the basis for several assignments, but not a full class.
Internet browser, Adobe Reader, compatible video player.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Factors leading to Dust Explosions, mitigating factors and need for action by regulatory agencies, owners and employees
Target Student Population:
Fire Investigators, Fire Inspectors, OSHA Inspectors and Investigators. Also suitable for students of food processing and employees in dusty occupations.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
General knowledge of fire behavior, knowledge of inspection practices, basic knowledge of engineering terms
Very well written and produced. The video does an excellent job summarizing the events and displaying them in an easy to understand manner. The written report is also well written, easy to understand, and supplements and enhances the information in the video very effectively.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
As a supplement to an existing class in inspection and investigation practices and procedures, this case study will be very effective. This material would also serve well as continuing education material for those already working in the investigation and inspection fields, whether they be in the Fire Service, government employ, or private industry.
A potential concern might be in writing effective assignments that span more than one or 2 class periods. This is not designed to be the basis of a class, rather to be a supplement to a class.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The video is self contained, and may be found on several sites, including CSB's website and on YouTube at CSB's presence there. The written material is easily downloaded and printed using Adobe Acrobat. The video may be downloaded, and is also available on DVD from CSB.
Other Issues and Comments:
No issues to be noted.
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