Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-76-012
Synopsis: On April 22, 1974, a massive, low-order explosion demolished the west wall of a 25-story commercial building at 305 East 45th street in New York, New York. The structure of the adjacent building was damaged and glass was broken in other buildings in the area. Glass fragments and slivers were blown into 46th street, where they lay 1 inch deep in places. No persons were killed, but more than 70 persons were injured.
Recommendation: TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Investigate the practicability and the availability of gas vapor detection instruments for installation at strategic locations in buildings. Based on the results of this investigation, recommend guidelines to appropriate state and local government agencies for regulations for the installation of gas detection instruments in buildings.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: New York, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: 80187
Accident Reports:
Consolidated Edison Company, Explosion
Report #: PAR-76-02
Accident Date: 4/22/1974
Issue Date: 4/19/1976
Date Closed: 9/3/1985
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (Closed - Acceptable Action)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Date: 9/3/1985
Response: Based on information in a June 28, 1976, letter signed by then HUD Secretary Carla A. Hills, the Safety Board has classified Safety Recommendation P-76-12 as CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION. We regret the delay in acting on your response.

From: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Date: 6/28/1976
Response: -From Carla A. Hills, Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development: I am responding to Safety Recommendation P-76-12 contained in Appendix B, National Transportation Safety Board, Pipeline Accident Report, NTSB-PAR-76-2 addressed to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As recommended by your Board this Department investigated the possible use of natural gas vapor detection instruments for installation in strategic locations in apartment and commercial buildings. We have found that the use of such instruments is technically possible, but would not be practical at this time. Available instruments that would provide the desired protection are of a sensitive laboratory type, requiring continual monitoring for calibration and a rigid maintenance program strictly adhered to, such instruments are expensive and the cost to instrument a typical apartment or commercial building would be prohibitive. There are some relatively inexpensive gas detecting instruments available. However, these units are generally subject to being triggered by vapors other than natural gas e.g., aerosol sprays, solvents, etc. Since such instruments could be sounding false alarms insofar as detection of natural gas odors is concerned they are not considered acceptable. In view of our findings the Department of Housing and Urban Development cannot recommend the installation of gas detection instruments in buildings at this time. We will stay abreast of development in this field and when a practical, cost effective natural gas detection system is developed we will reevaluate our position.