The objective of this paper in to summarize the emergency control phase, the community evacuation plan and subsequent plan for restoration and cleanup of the area.
The Castello Branco Highway is located near the municipality of Barueri and connects the city of São Paulo to the country-side.
On June 2001, during a four day public holiday, the citizens of Barueri reported on a large spill of LPG to the PETROBRAS Oil & Gas Terminal. The liquefied gas was spilling from a pipeline after being damaged by a pile driver during civil works being conducted alongside the road. Initial spill response activities by PETROBRAS Civil and Defense consisted of relocating the local population and stopping the road traffic.
The Emergency Response Plan was implemented immediately and the local populace removed from the hot zone to a safe location, in accordance with the Plan. Less than 1 hour after the incident, the water-sampling and inflammability program was initiated and various emergency groups from PETROBRAS Refineries in the São Paulo area were called to control the incident.
The specific behavior of LPG in open streams and confined rain water drainage systems showed that in this kind of emergency, special ventilation equipment combined with tactical and technical knowledge enabled the successful handling of this incident. The LPG leak was effectively controlled within 24 hours.
The coordination and teamwork between the emergency PETROBRAS Group, the Civil Defense Community, Public Fire Fighters and the government, municipal and private contingency organizations, combined with the environmental agency were critical to avoid the ignition of LPG and preserve lives.