WASHINGTON - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is proceeding with its assessment of the explosions and fire at Barton Solvents in Valley Center, KS, north of Wichita, with investigators returning to the accident site to gather further information.

On July 17, 2007, explosions and fire erupted in the outdoor tank storage area of the facility. The outdoor tank farm contained approximately 40 tanks with capacities ranging from 3,000 to 20,000 gallons.

At the time of the accident, a tanker truck containing varnish-makers and painters (VM&P) naphtha was being offloaded and pumped into a 15,000-gallon storage tank at the facility. VM&P naphtha is classified as a flammable liquid by the National Fire Protection Association and is used widely in the paint and coatings industry.

CSB investigators first arrived at the facility in July to begin assessing the accident and examining the site.

CSB Lead Investigator Randy McClure said, “The investigative team will be examining the tanks that failed and released their contents during the explosions and fire. We plan to examine the pressure relief systems, tank design and facility configuration placing the tanks in the single spill containment.”