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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-95-011
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 11:55 ON 3/23/94, A 36-INCH DIAMETER PIPELINE OWNED & OPERATED BY TEXAS EASTERN TRANSMISSION CORPORTION (TETCO) RUPTURED CATASTROPHICALLY IN EDISON TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY, WITHIN AN ASPHALT PLANT COMPOUND. THE FORCE OF THE RUPTURE & OF NATURAL GAS ESCAPING AT A PRESSURE OF ABOUT 970 PSIG (POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH GUAGE) EXCAVATED THE SOIL AROUND THE PIPE & BLEW GAS HUNDREDS OF FEET INTO THE AIR, PROPELLING PIPE FRAGMENTS, ROCKS, & DEBRIS MORE THAN 800 FEET. WITHIN 1 TO 2 MINUTES OF THE RUPTURE, ONE OF SEVERAL POSSIBLE SOURCES IGNITED THE ESCAPING GAS, SENDING FLAMES UPWARD 400 TO 500 FEET IN THE AIR. HEAT RADIATING FROM THE MASSIVE FIRE IGNITED THE ROOFS OF SEVERAL BUILDING ROOFS IN A NEARBY APARTMENT COMPLEX. OCCUPANTS, ALERTED TO THE EMERGENCY BY NOISES FROM ESCAPING GAS & ROCKS HITTING THE ROOFS, FLED FROM THE BURNING BUILDINGS. APPROXIMATELY 1,500 APARTMENT RESIDENTS WERE EVACUATED. MIRACULOUSLY, NO DEATHS DIRECTLY RESULTED FROM THE RUPTURE & RESULTING FIRE. MOST INJURIES WERE MINOR FOOT BURNS & CUTS THAT THE APARTMENT RESIDENTS SUSTAINED FROM THE HOT PAVEMENT & GLASS SHARDS AS THEY FLED THE COMPLEX. DAMAGE FROM THE ACCIDENT EXCEEDED &25 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE INTERSTATE NATURAL GAS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA: ENCOURAGE YOUR MEMBERS TO DEVELOP PROGRAMS, WHICH INCLUDE THE MODIFICATION OF EXISITING VALVES FOR REMOTE OR AUTOMATIC OPERATION, THAT WILL REDUCE TO A MINIMUM THE TIME REQUIRED TO STOP THE FLOW OF NATURAL GAS OR HAZARDOUS LIQUIDS TO FAILED PIPELINE SEGMENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE SEGMENTS IN URBAN OR ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE LOCATIONS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Edison, NJ, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA94MP001
Accident Reports:
Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-95-01
Accident Date: 3/23/1994
Issue Date: 2/7/1995
Date Closed: 4/5/2001
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Remote Operated Valves

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
Date: 4/5/2001
Response: On April 27, 1995, based on information provided in the INGAA letter of March 7, 1995, that indicated INGAA was conducting a study of automatic and remotely controlled valve technologies, Safety Recommendations P-95-10 and -11 were classified “Open--Acceptable Response.” Because the Safety Board has received no further information on these issues, Safety Recommendations P-95-10 and -11 are classified “Closed--Unacceptable Action.”

From: NTSB
To: Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
Date: 8/8/2000
Response: ON 4/27/95, BASED ON INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE INGAA LETTER OF 3/7/95, P-95-10 AND -11 WERE CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." TO DATE THE SAFETY BOARD HAS HAD NO FURTHER RESPONSE FROM INGAA, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING WHAT ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THESE RECOMMENDATIONS.

From: NTSB
To: Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
Date: 4/27/1995
Response: THE BOARD NOTES THAT INGAA HAS CONDUCTED A STUDY ON AUTOMATIC & REMOTELY OPERATED VALVES THAT IS BEING REVIEWED BY INDUSTRY OFFICIALS. THE BOARD FURTHER UNDERSTANDS THAT THE GAS RESEARCH INSTITUTE, AT YOUR REQUEST, IS COMPLETING A STUDY OF AUTOMATIC & REMOTELY CONTROLLED VALVE TECHNOLOGIES. PENDING PUBLICATION OF THE FORTHCOMING STUDY REPORTS, P95-11 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
To: NTSB
Date: 3/7/1995
Response: INGAA HAS COMPLETED THE FINAL DRAFT OF THIS STUDY REPORT WHICH IW CURRENTLY BEING REVIEWED BY INDUSTRY OFFICIALS. IN ADDITION, THE GAS RESEARCH INSTITUTE, AT INGAA'S REQUEST, IS NEARING COMPLETION OF A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF THE CURRENT AUTOMATIC & REMOTELY CONTROLLED VALVE TECHNOLOGIES. THE STUDY WILL IDENTIFY THE MOST APPROPRIATE USES OF THE CURRENT TECHNOLOGY & IDENTIFY AREAS WHERE APPROPRIATE RESEARCH COULD SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE IT.