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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-71-010
Details
Synopsis: ON SEPTEMBER 9, 1969, A 14-INCH PIPELINE CARRYING NATURAL GAS AT A PRESSURE OF MORE THAN 780 P.S.I.G. RUPTURED IN A RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION 3 1/4 MILES NORTH OF HOUSTON, TEXAS. ALL RESIDENTS WERE EVACUATED, AND ABOUT 8 TO 10 MINUTES LATER, THE ESCAPING GAS EXPLODED VIOLENTLY. THIRTEEN HOUSES, RANGING FROM 24 FEET TO 250 FEET FROM THE RUPTURE, WERE DESTROYED BY THE BLAST. THE LEAKING GAS CAUGHT FIRE AND BURNED FOR 1 1/2 HOURS UNTIL VALVES ON EITHER SIDE OF THE LEAK WERE CLOSED BY MOBIL WORKMEN. IN ALL, 106 HOUSES WERE DAMAGED, AND PROPERTY DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED AT $500,000. MIRACULOUSLY, THERE WERE NO DEATHS, BUT 9 PEOPLE WERE INJURED, 2 SERIOUSLY.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE MOBIL OIL CORPORATION TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION: PREPARE WRITTEN PROCEDURES FOR EACH PLANNED SHUTDOWN OF SECTIONS OF ITS PIPELINE SYSTEM. IN ADDITION TO GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL PLANNED SHUTDOWNS, THESE SPECIFIC PROCEDURES SHOULD INCLUDE METHODS OF HANDLING SPECIFIC PROBLEMS WHICH MIGHT BE ENCOUNTERED DURING EACH SHUTDOWN.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Houston, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 80255
Accident Reports:
High Pressure Natural Gas Pipeline
Report #: PAR-71-01
Accident Date: 9/9/1969
Issue Date: 7/1/1971
Date Closed: 12/30/1975
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: ExxonMobil Corporation (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: ExxonMobil Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 11/12/1971
Response: LETTER FROM MOBIL: MOBIL HAS BEEN IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE RECOMMENDATION MADE TO IT BY THE BOARD. WRITTEN PROCEDURES FOR NORMAL AND EMERGENCY OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN PREPARED FOR THE ENTIRE PIPELINE SYSTEM, AND SPECIAL PROCEDURES ARE WRITTEN AND IMPLEMENTED FOR EACH PLANNED SHUTDOWN INCLUDING SPECIFIC PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING PROBLEMS THAT MIGHT BE ENCOUNTERED.