of the factory:
The factory is a large one producing Ethane, Propane,
Ethylene, Propylene, HDP, Chlorine, Hydrogen, 50%
Caustic, Caustic Flaks, Hydrochloric Acid, PVC, Ethylene
Oxide and Ethylene Glycol in various plants of the
This factory is identified as MAH unit.
Date and Time of the incident: Date: 20-12-2002
at about 20.45 P. M.
Chlorine Emission from Hypo section of Chlorine Caustic
Chlorine Gas was emitted from vent pipe of final absorber
of Hypo scrubber on 20th December 2002 at about 20:45
P. M. and Chlorine gas was spreaded in the atmosphere
of the premises and out side the premises in the village
near the factory.
Cause of the incident:
(a) Waste Chlorine/HCL gases coming from vents
of HCL storage tank, Chlorate destruction tank, H2SO4
tank, Cell House waste header, Cell drain tank etc.
and Chlorine gas produced due to variation in the
process and released from outlet of safety valves
are scrubbed in Hypo section of Caustic Chlorine plan.
(b) In addition, Chlorine vapor escaped during
liquidification of chlorine by compression is burnt
with Hydrogen to manufacture HCL. If this process
is failed to produce HCL due to some reason, like
opening of sniff valve etc., dry chlorine of this
plant will also required scrubbing in the above said
(c) The Scrubbing process is done through Jet
scrubber no. 1, Jet scrubber no. 2 and final absorber
as mentioned in the safety manual by maintaining Caustic
concentration in each scrubber.
(d) Normally during the process of scrubbing,
proportion of caustic were maintained 20GPL, 150GPL
and 180 GPL in Jet scrubber no.1, Jet Scrubber no.
2 and final absorber respectively.
(e) Vent of final absorber is opened to atmosphere
and chorine gas emission from this vent is possible,
if the chlorine gas is not scrubbed in Jet Scrubber
no.1, Jet Scrubber no. 2 and in final absorber.
(f) On 20th December 2002, Jet scrubber no.
1 was not working and it was under maintenance because
of damage in rubber lining of suction tank of it.
It was under repair before 10 days of the incident.
(g) Because of Jet Scrubber no. 1 was not in
working and it was by-pass.
(h) Redox meter, installed on jet scrubber no. 2,
keeps check on caustic concentration. It was also
not working, so auto-adding system of caustic was
not done at the time of incident.
(i) Only 20 GPL of caustic concentration was
in the jet scrubber no. 2 (Required GPL of caustic
concentration is 60GPL as per manual). Jet scrubber
no. 2 was over loaded because of degraded scrubbing
material & breaking of vacuum due to foaming.
Un-reacted chlorine gas went to final absorber, which
was also not capable of absorb excess amount of chlorine
(j) Thus, Jet Scrubber no.2 and final absorbers
were not capable to scrub any additional amount of
Chlorine gas. Chlorine Gas was polluted the environment
in the factory as well as village in the vicinity.
(k) Gas detector with alarm is not provided
at the vent of final absorber, to monitor emission
of gas & to get information at control room or
in the plant.
Area and persons affected:
18 workers of the factory and 300 to 350 people of
the village Jageshwar were affected by Chlorine gas;
they were suffering from coughing and toxic effect
in the throat because of toxicity of Chlorine gas.
Prosecution is launched against the management in
the court, for violation of Para-item no. 13(1) of
Part II of Schedule 19 under Rule 102 of Gujarat
Factories Rules 1963 for not maintaining;
Jet Scrubber no. 1 in working condition
60 GPL Caustic Concentration in Hypo
Redox meter in working condition, which maintain
concentration 18% by auto-quenching method
Not reducing foaming by vacuum break,
in Jet Scrubber no. 2
Log-book for caustic concentration
Chlorine gas detector with alarm at the vent
of final absorber.