Tag Archives: system failure

Production of Fracking Chemicals: A Cautionary Tale

By Bernhard Debatin

Many fracking fluids are dangerous, highly toxic, carcinogenic, —  and also highly flammable. On Oct. 3, 2011, a massive fire destroyed the central Magnablend chemical plant  in Waxahachie, TX, about 30 miles south of Dallas. The facility mostly produced fracking fluids. The fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. and burnt for hours, sending huge plumes of black smoke into the sky. Due to the lack of proper containment systems, the liquid chemicals, many of which were on fire, spread quickly throughout and beyond the premises of the plant. Several severe explosions indicated that propane tanks and other highly explosive chemicals blew up in the fire, too.

Due to the intensity of the fire and the smoke, about 1000 people were evacuated from a school and an apartment building. While only two workers suffered minor injuries, the fire destroyed a $1.5 million fire truck in addition to the plant. The fire was mostly contained by 7:30 p.m., but some smaller hot spots kept burning into the next day and the fire smoldered for several days. Continue reading