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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-95-014
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 AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE: ENCOURAGE YOUR MEMBERS TO MODIFY THE INFO IN THE ANNUAL MAILINGS OF THEIR PUBLIC EDUCATION SAFETY PROGRAM TO ENCOURAGE RECIPIENTS TO DISSEMINATE THE PIPELINE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS TO THEIR TENANTS & EMPLOYEES WHO RESIDE & WORK ON PROPERTY ADJACENT TO HIGH-PRESSURE PIPELINES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable 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: 2/4/2002
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Petroleum Institute (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Training and Education, Public Education (Pipeline)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Petroleum Institute
Date: 2/4/2002
Response: The Safety Board has reviewed the correspondence related to P-95-14 and agrees that the information provided in the API's letter of August 5, 1996, was responsive to the objective of the Board's recommendation. As indicated in that letter, the API passed this recommendation on to its members for action and indicated that it would follow up with an article in its public awareness newsletter suggesting that pipeline companies distribute information on safety precautions to apartment building tenants as well as owners of those properties adjacent to high-pressure pipelines. Accordingly, we have now classified Safety Recommendation P-95-14 "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: American Petroleum Institute
To: NTSB
Date: 6/8/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 06/08/2001 7:37:07 PM MC# 2010482 API responded to this safety recommendation on August 5, 1996. In that response we stated that this recommendation had been passed on to our member companies for action. API was not aware that NTSB considered this an unacceptable response; in fact, we recommended at the time that this safety recommendation be closed since we had taken action. The oil pipeline industry considers communicating with right-of-way neighbors of all kinds to be an important continuing responsibility. We maintain a recommended practice, API 1123, Development of Public Awareness Programs by Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Operators, August 1996. In fact, API 1123 is currently being reviewed and revised, particularly in light of the new requirements for integrity testing recently promulgated by the Office of Pipeline Safety. API also conducted a survey of company practices related to informational mailings in January 1999. A copy of that survey is attached. As a trade association, we are limited to such action as providing guidance, conducting surveys, and informing our members concerning NTSB safety recommendations. Since NTSB is categorizing the response as "open--unacceptable response," we would like more specific guidance on NTSB expectations.

From: NTSB
To: American Petroleum Institute
Date: 7/17/2000
Response: ON 3/20/97, BASED ON INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE API LETTER OF 8/5/96, P-95-14 WAS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE," PENDING FURTHER RESPONSE FROM THE API. HOWEVER, NO FURTHER RESPONSE HAS BEEN RECEIVED. ENCLOSED ARE COPIES OF THE ORIGINAL RECOMMENDATION LETTER FOR P-80-15, P-81-20, P-93-20, P-95-14, P-95-15, P-96-22, AND P-98-29, AS WELL AS SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE RELATED TO THESE RECOMMENDATIONS. THE SAFETY BOARD LOOKS FORWARD TO RECEIVING INFORMATION FROM YOU UPDATING THE ABOVE RECOMMENDATIONS.

From: NTSB
To: American Petroleum Institute
Date: 3/20/1997
Response: AFTER ITS INVESTIGATION OF THE MARCH 1994 CATASTROPHIC PIPELINE RUPTURE IN EDISON TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY, THE BOARD IN P-95-14 ASKED THE API TO ENCOURAGE ITS MEMBERS TO MODIFY THE INFO IN THE ANNUAL MAILINGS OF THEIR PUBLIC EDUCATION PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAM TO ENCOURAGE RECIPIENTS TO DISSEMINATE THE PIPELINE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS TO THEIR TENANTS & EMPLOYEES WHO RESIDE & WORK ON PROPERTY ADJACENT TO HIGH-PRESSURE PIPELINES. THE BOARD IS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT THE API HAS NOTIFIED ITS MEMBER COMPANIES OF THE RECOMMENDED ACTION, WILL PUBLISH THE SUGGESTION THAT PIPELINE COMPANIES DISTRIBUTE PUBLIC SAFETY RIGHT-OF-WAY MAILINGS TO APARTMENT BUILDING TENANTS IN ADDITION TO BUILDING OWNERS, & PLANS TO RECOMMEND TO MEMBERS WHO HAVE A PIPELINE RIGHT-OF-WAY ADJACENT TO A WORKPLACE TO MODIFY INFO BROCHURES FOR POSTING BY BUSINESS OWNERS TO PROVIDE EMPLOYEE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. PENDING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLANNED ACTIONS, THE BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED P-95-14 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE RECEIVING COPIES OF THE INFO THE API WILL DISTRIBUTE TO ITS MEMBERSHIP CONCERNING THESE ACTIONS.

From: American Petroleum Institute
To: NTSB
Date: 8/5/1996
Response: API HAS PASSED THIS RECOMMENDATION ON TO ITS MEMBERS FOR ACTION. API WILL ALSO FOLLOW UP WITH AN ARTICLE IN OUR PUBLIC AWARENESS NEWLETTER SUGGESTING THAT PIPELINE COMPANIES DISTRIBUTE SAFETY RIGHT OF WAY MAILINGS TO APARTMEN BUILDINGS TENANTS IN ADDITION TO BUILDING OWNERS.