So many tragedies relating to failed above ground storage tanks (ASTs) occurred throughout history. These engineering disasters happened due to failure, whether in the tank’s design or of materials used. Other causes include inadequate knowledge of the constructors, mistakes in estimations, and even negligence.
Because the following historical catastrophes can happen even till today, owners and operators of ASTs should ensure they abide by the correct American Petroleum Institute Standard (API), such as the API 620, API 650, or the API 653 Standard.
The Cleveland East Ohio 1944 Gas Explosion Disaster
Took place on the 20th of October, 1944, the Cleveland East Ohio Gas Explosion was caused by a leaking liquefied natural gas-containing storage tank. The gas seeped through the soil and into the sewer lines, combining not only with sewer gas, but also air. This resulted in an ignition that led to explosions and fires. 130 people died that day.
The Boston 1919 Molasses Disaster
On the 15th of January, 1919, the Boston Molasses Disaster occurred, when an AST carrying more than 10,000 gallons of molasses collapsed. The waves it caused were enough to break even the Boston’s Elevated Railway’s Atlantic Avenue’s girders, and even lifting one of the trains off of the tracks. Buildings near the location of the tank had their foundations crushed. 21 people died that day, with 150 others sustaining injuries.
The Pennsylvania 1988 Ashland Disaster
Just right after the day of the New Year of 1988, a big disaster in Pennsylvania happened: the Ashland Disaster. It involved the failure of one of the Ashland Oil Company’s oil storage tanks, wherein the AST split in half. It released nearly 4 million gallons of diesel fuel, resulting in the complex grounds becoming flooded. About 750,000-to-800,000 gallons also went into the Monongahela River. It affected over a million residents in 80 different communities, what with the shutting down of the main water service. Thousands of animals, including fishes and birds, also died.
These are just some of the worst engineering disasters to have ever occurred, and the last thing you want is to have your ASTs go through the same. So do not risk it; make sure you comply with all the API Standards.