Lessons learned: 2019 Yima City ASU incident


On 19th July 2019, an incident at the Yima City Gasification Plant air separation unit (ASU) in Henan, China resulted in 15 deaths, 16 serious injuries, 236 people hospitalised, the complete destruction of one ASU and a 132,000 gallon field erected liquid oxygen tank, and major damage to two other ASUs and surrounding equipment and buildings.

Due to the unprecedented effects of this incident, the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) quickly formed a taskforce of international gas company experts to review the incident. The taskforce was comprised of 19 participants representing nine companies from Asia, Europe, and North America, along with CGA staff.

Given the limited amount of information and evidence available about the Yima City incident, these technical experts were challenged to think in terms of lessons learned versus attempting to conduct a Root Cause Analysis.

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