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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-80-072
Details
Synopsis: ON FEBRUARY 21, 1980, AN EXPLOSION AND FIRE DISTROYED FOUR STORES IN A SHOPPING COMPLEX, SEVERELY DAMAGED AN ADJOINING RESTAURANT, AND DAMAGED EIGHT CARS IN CORDELE, GEORGIA. GAS LEAKING FROM A 1-INCH SERVICE LINE AT 22 PSIG PRESSURE MIGRATED UNDER A CONCRETE BLOCK WALL, INTO A SERVICE LINE TRENCH, UNDER A CONCRETE SLAB FLOOR, AND INTO A JEWELRY STORE WHERE IT WAS IGNITED BY AN UNKNOWN SOURCE. OF THE EIGHT PERSONS WHO WERE INJURED, THREE DIED LATER AS A RESULT OF INJURIES RECEIVED IN THE ACCIDENT. BUILDINGS AND NEARBY AUTOMOBILES WERE DAMAGED EXTENSIVELY; NO ESTIMATE OF THE DOLLAR LOSS WAS MADE. THE GAS DEPARTMENT CONSTRUCTION CREW RESPONDED PROMPTLY TO THE ACCIDENT AND SHUT OFF GAS TO THE AFFECTED SECTION OF THE SHOPPING COMPLEX BY DIGGING UP AND CLOSING THE TAP TEE ON THE GAS MAIN. GAS SHUTOFF WAS COMPLETED 40 MINUTES AFTER THE EXPLOSION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: SURVEY A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF SIMILAR SMALL-SIZED, MUNICIPALLY-OWNED, GAS DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS SERVING LESS THAN 100,000 CUSTOMERS, WHICH ARE NOT REQUIRED TO SUBMIT WRITTEN REPORTS OF PIPELINE ACCIDENTS, TO DETERMINE THEIR COMPLIANCE WITH PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS AND SAFE OPERATING PRACTICES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Cordele, GA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 80233
Accident Reports:
Municipal Gas Department of Cordele, Georgia Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-80-05
Accident Date: 2/21/1980
Issue Date: 10/2/1980
Date Closed: 9/29/1988
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/23/1989
Response:

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 9/29/1988
Response:

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/21/1983
Response: WITH RESPECT TO SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS P-80-29 AND P-80-72, THE MTB HAS PROPOSED NEW INCIDENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (DOCKET PS-49) WHICH WILL REQUIRE OPERATORS OF GAS DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS SERVING LESS THAN 100,000 CUSTOMERS AND OPERATORS OF LNG FACILITIES TO SUBMIT ACCIDENT REPORTS. THIS RULEMAKING HAS BEEN FAVORABLY REVIEWED BY THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB), AND THE FINAL RULE WILL BE PUBLISHED WITHIN 2 WEEKS. THIS RULEMAKING IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE AN INFORMATIONAL SOURCE, FOR AMONG OTHER THINGS, MATERIAL SELECTION, AND EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY SYSTEM SAFETY CRITERIA TO HELP IDENTIFY AND CONTROL SYSTEM SAFETY HAZARDS.

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 9/30/1981
Response:

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/20/1981
Response: RSPA LTR: THE INSPECTION OF MUNICIPALLY-OWNED GAS DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS UNDER THE DIRECT JURISDICTION OF THE MTB AND SERVING LESS THAN 100,000 CUSTOMERS TO DETERMINE THEIR COMPLIANCE WITH PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS AND SAFE OPERATING PRACTICES HAS BEEN AN MTB AND FORMER OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY PRIORITY ITEM SINCE THESE ORGANIZATIONS BEGAN MAKING FIELD INSPECTIONS. DURING FY-80, MTB INITIATED AN ENFORCEMENT ACTION AGAINST 37 MUNICIPAL OPERATORS. IN ADDITION, THE REGIONAL OFFICES ISSUED 27 WARNING LETTERS TO MUNICIPAL OPERATORS FOUND TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THE REGULATIONS. APPROXIMATELY 146 INSPECTIONS OF INTRASTATE GAS PIPELINE OPERATORS BY MTB'S INSPECTORS ARE PRESENTLY PLANNED FOR FY-81. WHEN COMPARED WITH OTHER TYPES OF OPERATORS, THE INTRASTATE OPERATORS HAVE THE GREATEST AMOUNT OF FIELD INSPECTION MANDAYS. THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE INTRASTATE OPERATORS INSPECTED BY FEDERAL INSPECTORS ARE MUNICIPALLY-OWNED GAS DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS SERVING LESS THAN 100,000 CUSTOMERS. WE BELIEVE THAT THESE PLANNED INSPECTIONS CONSTITUTE A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF SMALL-SIZED MUNICIPAL SYSTEMS.