Japan has experienced a number of petrochemical fires in the first few months of this year, including one at the TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK oil refining plant in the city of Kawasaki, between Tokyo and Yokohama, and one at the Mitsubishi chemicals plant in the city of Yokkaichi in the Mie Prefecture in central Japan.
Several workers were injured at the TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK fire, which broke out in the residue hydrocracking unit. The fire originated in the reactor of the 31,000 barrel-a-day hydrocracking unit during cleaning work. The fire is believed to have been brought under control by pumping nitrogen into the unit. Six workers were treated in hospital.
The explosion at the Mitsubishi chemical plant is believed to have killed five and injured 17. The explosion is reckoned to have been triggered by a chemical reaction inside the plant. Maintenance of a heat exchanger used in the production of silicon products was reportedly being carried out when the blast occurred.
Japanese Petrochemical Fires and Explosions.