T2 Laboratories

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Aerial view of T2 Laboratories, Inc., following explosion and fire

T2 Laboratories Inc. of 3043 Faye Road, Jacksonville, Florida, USA, was a facility that specialized in the design and manufacture of specialty chemicals primarily for gasoline additives.[1][2] The company cites its low environmental impact specialty chemicals intended to replace more toxic and dangerous industrial chemicals.[1]

On December 19, 2007, a massive explosion and fire killed four people in what is considered the U.S.'s most severe industrial accident in nearly three years.[3] The explosion's force was equivalent to detonating about a ton of TNT and it spread debris up to a mile from the plant.[4] Fourteen people were hospitalized for chemical exposure or their injuries after the blast.[5]

Following the explosion, every hazardous-materials unit in Jacksonville and over 100 firefighters fought the ensuing blaze, which a spokesman termed a "hellish inferno".[5]

The blast killed Robert Scott Gallagher; Charles Budds Bolchoz, 48; Karey Renard Henry, 35; and Parrish Lamar Ashley, 36.[5] At the time of his death, Gallagher was Marketing Director for T2 Labs.[6]

T2 Laboratories' chemical reactor ruptured, according to a preliminary investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.[5] The investigators reported their belief that the reactor ruptured during the production of a gasoline additive.[5]

The explosion occurred in a 2500 gallon batch reactor during production of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl. The reactor cooling system, which lacked backups, failed; this led to a thermal runaway.

In September 2009, a report was released by the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board as to the cause of the accident.[7]

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