Providing a network for the exchange of ideas and information between Engineers with a common interest, Indohaan Technology holds regular events and publishes a newsletter. Our newsletter is a regularly distributed publication generally about the developments in the company happenings in the industry and latest innovations that is of interest to our subscribers  
Read more

Past Process Incidents

Recent or past industrial process catastrophic accidents demonstrate the continuous need for root cause assessment of their potential reasons. A process safety incident is the "Unexpected release of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals. Incidents continue to occur in various industries that use highly hazardous chemicals which exhibit toxic, reactive, flammable, or even explosive properties, or may exhibit a combination of these properties.  
Read more

Recent News

India rail crash raises concerns of underinvestment as death toll hits 146

Monday, 21 Nov 2016 , By ET Reuters

Indian rescuers on Monday called off a search of the mangled carriages of a derailed train after pulling more bodies from the wreckage, taking to at least 146 the number of passengers killed in the disaster.

Sunday's derailment in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh was India's deadliest train tragedy since 2010 and has renewed concern about poor safety on the state-run network, a lifeline for millions that has suffered from chronic underinvestment.

Rescue teams worked through the night with cranes and cutters to disentangle the train before police halted the search of the 14 carriages that derailed in the early hours, while most passengers slept.

"The rescue operations are over. We don't expect to find any more bodies," said Zaki Ahmed, the police inspector general in the city of Kanpur, about 65 km (40 miles) from Pukhrayan, the crash site.

The crash came during India's busy wedding season and media said blood-stained bags of saris and wedding cards carried by at least one wedding party on board were scattered beside the wreckage.

The derailment injured more than 200 people, scores of them seriously, officials said, as relatives thronged hospitals in a search for survivors.

A railways spokesman said the train carried 1,000 people traveling on reservations, but 700 more were estimated to have squeezed into the unreserved carriages.

Ageing badly

The largely colonial-era railway system, the world's fourth largest, carries about 23 million people daily, but is saturated and aging badly. Average speeds top just 50 kph (30 mph) and train accidents are common.

The crash is a stark reminder of the obstacles facing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in delivering on his promise to turn the railways into a more efficient, safer network befitting India's economic power.

Modi this year pledged record levels of investment and has announced a new high-speed line funded by Japan, but the main network has made little progress on upgrading tracks or signalling equipment.

He has also shied away from raising highly subsidized fares that leave the railways with next to nothing for investment - by some analyst estimates, they need 20 trillion rupees ($293.34 billion) of investment by 2020.

A 40-year-old man holds his daughter in a district hospital after the derailment of an Indore-Patna Express train on Sunday morning.

Modi on Sunday held a political rally about 210 km (130 miles) from the crash site in Uttar Pradesh, which heads to the polls early next year in an election his Bharatiya Janata Party is vying to win.

Politician Mayawati, who uses only one name, and is one of Modi's biggest rivals in the state, said the government should have "invested in mending tracks instead of spending billions and trillions of rupees on bullet trains," media reported.

Junior railway minister Manoj Sinha said a fractured track might have caused the train to roll off the rails on its journey between the central Indian city of Indore and the eastern city of Patna.

Sunday's crash is India's worst rail tragedy since the collision of a passenger and a goods train in 2010, which the government blamed on sabotage by Maoist rebels.

In 2005, a train was crushed by a rock and another plunged into a river, each disaster killing more than 100 people. In what was probably India's worst rail disaster, a train fell into a river in the eastern state of Bihar of 1981, killing an estimated 500 to 800 people.

Chemical Accidents in China Have Killed Nearly 200 This Year, Report Finds

September 21, 2016

Cars and buildings last year after an explosion at the site of what had been a warehouse storing thousands of tons of chemicals in Tianjin, a city in northeastern China.

Nearly 200 people have died in accidents related to the production, storage and transportation of chemicals in China this year, according to a report by Greenpeace released on Wednesday.The report suggested that regulation of China’s powerful chemical industry remained lax and inconsistent, a year after a deadly explosion in the port city of Tianjin prompted public outrage and calls for greater oversight.

“China’s chemicals industry is the largest in the world, but it is appallingly underregulated,” Cheng Qian, a Greenpeace activist who studies toxic chemicals, said in the report. “The government must take urgent action.”

The investigation by Greenpeace, which relied on government statistics, found that chemical accidents occurred with alarming frequency in China. From January to August, there were 232 — an average of nearly one a day — killing 199 people and injuring 400 others, the report said. The group did not examine how those figures compared with those from previous years.

Many of the accidents involved highly toxic substances, the report found, and more than half occurred while workers were transporting chemicals. Explosions were the cause of two of five deaths, according to the report.

Chemical accidents in China are often deadly because chemical plants are built dangerously close to residential areas, schools or major roads, in violation of safety regulations.

The Greenpeace investigation found that nearly a fifth of major chemical companies have facilities near important natural resources, including rivers and lakes. Most chemical producers are in densely populated areas along China’s eastern coast, the report said.

On Wednesday, a chemical plant in Yantai, a city in the eastern province of Shandong, about 370 miles southeast of Tianjin, reported that four workers had been killed in an explosion. The plant, Wanhua Chemical, which produces chemicals used to make foams and paint, among other things, pledged to investigate the cause of the accident.

The explosion last year in Tianjin, one of the deadliest industrial accidents in China’s history, killed 165 people and injured nearly 800, causing $1.1 billion in damage to the city, a busy seaport. The government punished executives who ran the warehouse where the blast occurred for poor safety practices and local officials for lax oversight.

After the Tianjin accident, the Chinese government faced unusual public pressure to rein in the country’s booming chemical industry, a major source of economic growth in many provinces. Activists have urged the government to require chemical companies to disclose more information about their practices and to provide better safety training for workers.

Officials at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the State Administration of Work Safety did not immediately respond to faxed requests for comment on Wednesday.

Billion-dollar man-made and natural disasters of 2016

26 Dec, 2016

Severe storms causing flooding topped the list of natural disasters in 2016, each one leaving behind billions of dollars in economic damage, and loss of life. Water-submerged shopping malls, homes, roads and cars became the leitmotif.

Man-made disasters also made news headlines from water pollution to gas and nuclear waste leaks.


Indian Point, New York

The year began with a groundwater leak at the Indian Point nuclear plant, when three monitoring wells were discovered to contain “alarming levels of radioactivity,” after the operator Entergy Nuclear Operations raised the alarm.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called it “unacceptable,” and said that one of three wells in question had “radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent.” Cuomo has repeatedly called for the shutdown of the plant.

The groundwater wells had no contact with any drinking water supplies, according to the plant’s operators who said the spill would dissipate before it reached the Hudson River.

The leak was the latest emergency at Indian Point, which has experienced nine technical problems in the past year or so. Four of them were serious enough to shut down the entire plant.

Indian Point nuclear reactor shut down over water leak

In June, a nuclear reaction unit at the plant was shut down to repair a water pipe that had been leaking “a small amount of Hudson River water.”

The 40-year-old nuclear power plant, situated 25 miles north of New York City and within 50 miles of 20 million residents, supplies about 30 percent of the Big Apple’s energy. The site includes two operating Westinghouse pressurized water reactors – Indian Point 2 and Indian Point 3. The plant has also permanently shut down the Indian Point 1 reactor.

The facility’s initial 40-year license expired in December 2015, but the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued Entergy a temporary extension pending final approval.

Hanford, Washington state

Chemical vapors at the Hanford Site nuclear facility in Washington state sickened 20 workers causing an evacuation and work stoppage in late April.

Hanford tank workers were performing routine tasks at the vast nuclear waste site when they started complaining of headaches before being sent for medical evaluations, local news station KING reported.

The exposure came a week after thousands of gallons of radioactive waste reportedly leaked from the AY-102 double-shell tank.

EPA registered a spike in radiation outside the Hanford Site for nuclear waste disposal.

A KING investigation found that workers in 50 separate incidents were exposed to vapors leaking from the nuclear waste tanks between January 2014 and April 2015. In one of the incidents, a worker was treated for chemical pneumonitis, an inflammation of the lungs caused by chemical exposure.

Hanford Nuclear Reservation was originally constructed in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project to produce plutonium for weapons, including the ‘Fat Boy’ atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. Millions of gallons of nuclear waste was generated by the time production stopped at the end of the Cold War.

Chemical vapors sicken 20 nuclear facility workers, cause evacuation, work


Mid-year, the Environmental Defense Fund published a study that found hundreds of methane leaks from Boston to Dallas. Using gas sensors on cars during a 30-day period, they tracked methane gas emissions in nine participating cities, including Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; and Los Angeles, California.

A map for Dallas showed dots of yellow, orange and red. Yellow dots meant the methane leak was low, orange indicated a medium-sized leak, and red dots showed large leaks.

While such leaks don’t pose immediate health hazards, the emissions are not good for the environment. Methane is 84 percent more potent than carbon dioxide and makes up about 25 percent of all emissions. Apart from the environmental destruction, there is a cost to residents.

“This is absolutely not a safety issue,” Jennifer Altieri, an Atmos spokeswoman told the Dallas Morning News. “We really don’t want to scare the public.”


There were 354 total hazardous liquids pipeline spills by the end of November, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The percentage of spills released were higher this year compared to other years, with 16 percent of leaks involving 100 or more barrels of product.

North Dakota

Crude oil pipelines were central to the massive outdoor sit-in started by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota over the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Frustrated that the Army Corps of Engineers had fast tracked permits for the pipeline to be constructed under the Missouri River near their lands, they took the Corps to court and began to fight back. By December the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to deny Energy Transfer Partners, the construction company, a permit to build the pipeline under the Missouri River.

Crude pipeline shut down after spill

The same month, illustrative of how disasters can happen, a pipeline 150 miles (241 km) from the DAPL protesters’ campsite leaked 4,200 barrels of oil, about three-quarters of which reached the nearby Ash Coulee Creek that feeds into a tributary of the Missouri River, according to Reuters. The Missouri River is a major source of drinking water for the area.

The leak was contained but wasn’t detected earlier due to an unknown error with the electronic monitoring equipment.


On September 9, a portion of the Colonial Pipeline was damaged, and 336,000 gallons of refined gas seeped out of the service line into the ground. Oil prices in the Southeast US surged, and motorists endured long lines and shortages after the leak left the pipeline out of service until late September. The disaster was largely contained, as gasoline was released into a retention pond. There were no deaths or injuries related to the leak.

Top 5 disasterous pipeline spills of 2016

Two months later, an accident on the very same Colonial Pipeline resulted in disaster and, unfortunately, tragedy. Six workers were on the pipeline when a dirt-moving track hoe struck it, creating a massive fire that left one worker dead at the scene. Another later died of his injuries, and the four other workers were hospitalized. None of the names of people involved have been released, per the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

Surveillance of the explosion site shows the fire continuing to burn.

This explosion released 252,000 gallons of refined oil, and occurred just a few miles away from September’s leak. It also resulted in increased oil prices across the Southeast.


A fire caused by manufacturing defects in Louisiana resulted in about 208,000 gallons of propane being burned on February 24. Dixie Pipeline was able to cap the fire quickly, but that left about 8.5 miles of pipe that had to “bleed out,” KPLC reported. There were no deaths or injuries resulting from the leak or fire, and as a result, it occurred quietly with little incident or coverage.


The Enterprise Pipeline carries 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day from storage hubs in Oklahoma to refineries on the Gulf Coast. In October, however, a pipeline ruptured and sprayed the area with crude oil, a known cause of chemical pneumonia.

There were no injuries or evacuations, so the spill was quietly cleaned up after it leaked more than 300,000 gallons of crude oil. The pipeline had experienced problems less than a month earlier, according to UPI. Plains All American Pipeline had also reported infrastructure based problems in early October.


The worst oil leak of the year was at Sunoco Logistics just outside of Sweetwater, Texas, when 800 barrels of crude oil leaked in September. Sunoco is the operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The company has been previously recommended for fines as high as $1.3 million for violating welding practices on the line.

The pipeline, which began service in mid-2015, moves crude from the Permian Basin to Corsicana, Texas, where it can connect to the Gulf Coast.


In September, footage surfaced of a 45 foot massive sinkhole at the Mosaic phosphate fertilizer plant in Polk County, Florida.

About 215 million gallons of water containing sulphate, sodium and gypsum (which contains low levels of radiation) had drained into the aquifer, the state’s main source of drinking water, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Mosaic claimed there was no risk to the aquifer.

“Groundwater moves very slowly,” David Jellerson, Mosaic’s senior director for environmental and phosphate projects said. “There’s absolutely nobody at risk.”

The world’s largest phosphate mining company said it had been draining the contaminated water from the aquifer

Americans were equally hit by natural disasters.

The National Centers for Environmental Information is the nation’s scorekeeper for severe weather and climate events, which it evaluates for economic and societal damage.

There were 12 weather and climate disasters in 2016, each one with losses exceeding $1 billion. The four flooding and eight severe storm events lead to the deaths of 68 people, as well as significant economic damage on the affected areas.

In the last five years, the number of such events has doubled compared to when the agency began evaluating events in 1980

Missouri’s severe storms and flooding

The year began with drone footage capturing the results of severe storms from the end of December and early January, which caused three of Missouri’s major rivers to burst their bank and resulted in extensive flooding. Sixteen states issued emergency weather warnings and flooding claimed the lives of at least 31 people.

Visiting the affected-communities of Eureka and Cape Girardeau, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon described the damage as “almost as if you are living on some other planet.”

The Mississippi River was 40 feet (13 meters) over the flood mark at one stage, while 17 million people faced imminent danger.

President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration, allowing federal aid to be used in the clean-up operations.

Texas’ four floods

On four separate occasions in March and April, residents across Texas were hit with severe storms, including hailstorms, leading to floods

While footage of water-submerged cars, roads, homes and shopping malls are the hallmark of all floods, in Texas there were even photos of floating cattle.

In April, residents in Houston received as much as 20 inches of rain, causing hundreds of flight cancellations, the closure of city offices and public schools, and power outages affecting tens of thousands of buildings.

Flash flood watches were in effect for much of central and eastern Texas, including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Tyler-Longview, AP reported. Parts of western Louisiana and Arkansas were also included in the flash flood watches.

The costliest was a hailstorm that struck Texas in April, resulting in economic losses of $3.5 billion and insured losses of $3 billion, as large hailstones inflicted heavy damage to property.

Central, east Texas hit with major storm and flash flooding

Louisiana and Mississippi

The biggest storm and flood was in August, when heavy rains caused widespread flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi. The storm left eight people dead, and economic losses totaled $10 billion, while private insured losses were at least $1 billion.

Louisiana flooding: 8 dead, 30k rescued

Twelve parishes in the Pelican State were eligible for federal aid, and state police said about 30,000 people were rescued from floodwaters. In Livingston Parish, home of around 138,000 people, authorities said about 75 percent of homes were destroyed by flooding, according to AP.

Every Day, 400 People Are Killed In Road Accidents In India, Shows Government Data

May 07, 2016 By Vishnu Som

States where the highest number of road accidents took place in 2015 are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.

1. In 2015, 400 people were killed in road accidents every day

2. There are no comprehensive road safety legislation in the country yet

3. Existing Motor Vehicles Act may be replaced with the proposed bill Its India's worst kept secret - we have the world's most unsafe roads and the situation seems to be getting worse by the year. Over 400 people were killed in road accidents every day in 2015, government data reveals.

Fresh data submitted by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in the Rajya Sabha this week indicates just how alarming the situation is. 1,46,133 people were killed in road accidents in India in 2015, a 4.6% rise over 2014 when 1,39,671 people were killed.

In the past one decade, over 1.3 million people have been killed in road accidents but there is still no comprehensive road safety legislation in the country. According to the 234th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture which has recently been tabled in Parliament, there are several stumbling blocks for replacing the existing Motor Vehicles Act with a proposed Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2015.

According to the report, the Ministry "wanted to change the entire architecture over road transport and road safety in the whole country, basically, setting up a set of authorities at the Central level and the State level to control all aspects of transport and public transport including driving licences."

However, this has not been possible because "the main hitch is on sharing of revenues between the Centre and the state" in implementing the changes which have been proposed. In an effort to still try and push the safety measures through, the government claims it is trying to focus on noncontroversial, achievable goals such as "an increase in the penalty for drunken driving or increasing the penalty for unauthorized driving, minor driving."

While it is well established that our roads and highways are deadly to travel on, according to the data, the states with the highest number of road accidents in 2015 are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. These states contribute 29.66% to the total number of accidents recorded nationwide. The same states also recorded the highest number of injuries at 2,75,873 in 2015.