Des irrégularités constatées lors de l'enquête sur la fuite d'ammoniac mortelle dans un entrepôt frigorifique en Chine

L'enquête a montré que de nombreuses irrégularités étaient à l'origine de cet accident et pouvaient expliquer le bilan très lourd (15 personnes décédées et 25 blessés): conception et construction par du personnel non qualifié, opérateurs non formés... (en anglais).
A liquid ammonia leak from the refrigeration unit of Shanghai Weng's Cold Storage Co in Shanghai, China, on August 31, 2013, killed at least 15 people, injured 25 others and caused a direct economic loss of RMB 25.1 million (3 million €).

The municipal government said that the cause of the accident was a cap that broke off the company's liquid-ammonia pipeline system, and ordered a safety check at all companies that use the refrigerant. Investigators found that the company illegally built the workshop after completing construction of the plant's main body, blocking the fire exits, according to a statement from the Shanghai work safety supervision bureau. The workshop was designed and constructed by unqualified workers, the statement said. Additionally, the company never provided training to the workers before starting production.

In the latest issue of the IIR Newsletter, we mentioned a paper* presented during the IIR Ohrid conference on ammonia refrigeration technology highlighting that over 92% of Chinese cold stores had adopted ammonia as a refrigerant but that many ammonia refrigeration systems in China were in dilapidated condition sometimes with insufficient funding and poor attention paid to repairs and maintenance. As a result, many accidents in ammonia refrigeration plants have been reported in recent years in China.
A national standard “GB28009-2011 Safety Code for Cold Stores” came into force in December 2012. According to this document, design, construction and management of cold stores become mandatory topics, which will undoubtedly lead to a reduction in accidents. In addition, other national standards are currently being developed.

*Status and Analysis of Ammonia Refrigeration Technology for Cold Stores in China, Jianji Zhang