Before sunrise on a June morning in 2019, a section of pipe nearly five decades old ruptured at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, spewing a cloud of flammable vapor that hung to the ground like a spectral fog.
Within minutes, according to a surveillance video, a series of explosions in the refinery’s alkylation unit rained huge pieces of shrapnel across the refinery and released 5,239 pounds of hydrofluoric acid (HF), a chemical so toxic that worker-safety advocates have called for its banishment from use in refining.
Photo Credit: Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Enquirer
By Gregory Kolen II. Content is an essential component for non-profit organizations, providing them with the ability to share their story and mission with the