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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-72-042
Details
Synopsis: On March 24, 1972, in the Annandale section of Fairfax County, VA, a contractor's backhoe snagged a 2-inch steel gas main, and pulled the main out of a compression coupling 22 feet away. Gas company personnel arrived on the scene about 40 minutes later and started to search for the break. The gas was not shut off and the nearby houses were not checked for the presence of gas. A house, 240 feet away from the point at which the line was snagged, exploded. Two other houses exploded and burned. As a result of the accident, three persons died and one was injured; two houses were destroyed and a third was badly damaged; and $153,000 worth of property was damaged.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT: THE OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY AMEND 49 CFR 192 TO REQUIRE THAT EACH OPERATOR MAINTAIN A LOG WHICH SHOWS THE RECEIPT AND HANDLING OF EACH LEAK OR EMERGENCY REPORT RECEIVED. INFORMATION CONCERNING THE TIME THAT THE REPORT WAS FIRST RECEIVED, THAT A CREW WAS FIRST DISPATCHED TO THE SCENE, THAT SUCH A CREW ARRIVED, AND THAT THE CONDITION WAS CONSIDERED SAFE SHOULD BE INCLUDED. IN ADDITION, EACH PIPELINE OPERATOR SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO ANALYZE HIS PERFORMANCE IN RESPONDING TO GAS-LEAK EMERGENCIES AND REPORTS. BOTH THE LOGS AND THE ANALYSIS SHOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE TO STATE AGENCIES AND THE OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Annandale, VA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 80206
Accident Reports:
Washington Gas Light Company, Natural Gas Explosion
Report #: PAR-72-04
Accident Date: 3/24/1972
Issue Date: 11/22/1972
Date Closed: 8/19/1985
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 8/19/1985
Response:

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/3/1978
Response: 3/7/73 - DOT LTR: BECAUSE OF THE VARIETY OF OPERATING CONDITIONS AND SYSTEMS IN OPERATION THROUGHOUT THE NATION, WE DO NOT FEEL THAT SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS IN THIS AREA COULD BE DEVELOPED TO ADEQUATELY APPLY TO ALL OPERATORS. IT IS OUR OPINION THAT PARTS OF 192 RELATE SPECIFICALLY TO AND ADEQUATELY ACCOMPLISH THE INTENT OF RECOMMENDATION P-72-42. 7/5/73 - DOT LTR: COMPANY PROCEDURES CAN AND ARE BEING IMPROVED AS A RESULT OF TRAINING PROGRAMS AND AS A RESULT OF MONITORING BY OPS AND THE STATE AGENCIES. RELATED STUDIES CONDUCTED BY OPS MAY FURTHER DEMONSTRATE THE ADVISABILITY OF REGULATORY CHANGE. 4/3/78 - OPSO LETTER IN RESPONSE TO NTSB 11/4/77 LETTER REQUESTING A REVIEW OF THEIR POSITION ON THIS RECOMMENDATION: DUE TO VARIETY OF OPERATING CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT THE NATION, SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS IN THIS AREA COULD NOT BE DEVELOPED THAT WOULD ADEQUATELY APPLY TO ALL OPERATORS. IT IS FELT THAT 49 CFR 192.615 COVERS THE RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 11/4/1977
Response: