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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-15-035
Details
Synopsis: On March 12, 2014, about 9:30 a.m. eastern daylight time, two adjacent multiuse five-story buildings were destroyed by a natural gas-fueled explosion and resulting fire. The buildings were situated on the west side of Park Avenue between East 116th Street and East117th Street in the East Harlem district of the Borough of Manhattan in New York City. The violent explosion damaged buildings on the east and west sides of Park Avenue and along East116th and East 117th Streets. The Metro-North Railroad suspended rail service for about 71/2 hours on the elevated railway along Park Avenue because of debris from the explosion on the track. Eight people died, more than 50 people were injured, and more than 100 families were displaced from their homes as a result of this accident. The cost to Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (ConEdison), of equipment damages, emergency response activities, remediation, and replacement exceeded $1.9 million.
Recommendation: TO CONSOLIDATED EDISON COMPANY OF NEW YORK, INC.: Revise your plastic pipe fusion welding procedure to specify that the solidified beads should be visually examined after completing a joint to ensure the beads are uniformly shaped and sized around the joint as recommended in ASTM F2620, Standard Practice for Heat Fusion Joining of Polyethylene Pipe and Fittings.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Manhattan, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA14MP002
Accident Reports: ​Gas explosion and subsequent fireNatural Gas-Fueled Building Explosion and Resulting Fire
Report #: PAR-15-01
Accident Date: 3/12/2014
Issue Date: 6/29/2015
Date Closed: 12/21/2015
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Consolidated Edison (Con Ed)
Date: 12/21/2015
Response: We are pleased that you have amended the language in procedure G 8123-16 as follows: 4.2. After the heat fusion joints have cooled and solidified, the Operator Qualified installer and Operator Qualified peer inspector shall visually inspect all heat fusion joints around the entire circumference of the joint for uniformity and compare against the manufacturers’ recommended appearance guidelines. A) Butt fusion joints should have uniform double fusion beads rolled over to the surface, be uniformly rounded, and consistent in size all around the joint. The PE plastic pipe, tubing, and fittings must be properly aligned (NOT angled or mitered). The inspection requirements now included in revised G-8123 are consistent with those specified in ASTM F2620. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-15-35 is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: Consolidated Edison (Con Ed)
To: NTSB
Date: 9/25/2015
Response: -From Craig S. Ivey, President: We revised our heat fusion joining procedure, G-8123-16 to include additional language specifically stating that heat fusion joints shall be inspected after they have cooled and solidified to verify the beads are uniform around the circumference of the joint. We have previously trained our employees to inspect to this standard, but we elaborated on this detail in our procedure. The amended language in G-8123-16 is as follows (new language is highlighted in grey): 4.2 After the heat fusion joints have cooled and solidified, the Operator Qualified installer and Operator Qualified peer inspector shall visually inspect all heat fusion joints around the entire circumference of the joint for uniformity and compare against the manufacturers' recommended appearance guidelines. A) Butt fusion joints should have uniform double fusion beads rolled over to the surface, be uniformly rounded, and consistent in size all around the joint. The PE plastic pipe, tubing , and fittings must be properly aligned (NOT angled or mitered). The inspection requirements now included in revised G-8123 are consistent with the requirements specified in ASTM F2620, Standard Practice for Heat Fusion Joining of Polyethylene Pipe and Fittings.