Turbine Fault Causes Plant Blast

Friday, August 3, 2012 @ 03:08 PM gHale

A malfunction in the turbine is the likely cause of a one-alarm fire that erupted following an explosion inside the co-generation plant at the International Matex Tank Terminal in Bayonne, NJ, officials said.

When firefighters responded around 8:20 a.m. Wednesday to the plant on Hook Road off Route 440 they faced heavy smoke, said Fire Chief Gregory Rogers.

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The plant manager said he heard an explosion and the control room gauges indicated a turbine caught fire, Rogers said.

The fire remained confined to the turbine load gear compartment and put out by a built-in carbon dioxide compression system, Rogers said.

Firefighters cooled down the turbine and put out some flames fueled by residual lubricating oil, the fire chief said.

A preliminary investigation indicated the cause of the blast was from a malfunction in the turbine, officials said.

This wasn’t the first fire at the plant. In May 2011, a switching station failure also caused a fire.

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