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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-71-011
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 AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS GAS PIPING STANDARDS COMMITTEE TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION: DEVELOP GUIDELINES FOR PROCEDURES TO BE PREPARED BY OPERATORS OF GAS SYSTEMS FOR EACH PLANNED SHUTDOWN OF A SECTION OF PIPELINE SYSTEM. IN ADDITION TO GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL SHUTDOWNS, THESE GUIDELINES SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE ASME "GUIDE FOR GAS TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION PIPING SYSTEMS" AND RECOMMENDED FOR USE IN COMPLYING WITH THE OPERATING AND MAINTENANCE PLAN REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 192.605 OF THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS.
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Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
To: NTSB
Date: 10/8/1971
Response: LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ASME COMMITTEE: WE WILL BEGIN WORK IMMEDIATELY ON (THE) RECOMMENDATION, TO DEVELOP GUIDELINES FOR PLANNED FACILITY SHUTDOWNS AND TO CONSIDER METHODS OF HANDLING SPECIFIC PROBLEMS WHICH COULD OCCUR. 9/25/72 - ASME LTR: THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ASME COMMITTEE FORWARDED A COPY OF THE GUIDELINES DEVELOPED BY ASME. THEY COMPLY WITH THE BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION. CORRESPONDENCE DOCUMENTATION INCOMPLETE.