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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-95-018
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 SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS: COOPERATE WITH THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WORKS ASSOCIATION ON DEVELOPING MODEL PROGRAMS & STATUTES &/OR GUIDELINES TO AID LOCAL & STATE GOVERNMENTS TO IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY'S STUDY ON ENHANCING PUBLIC SAFETY NEAR 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: 12/10/2001
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Society of Civil Engineers (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Society of Civil Engineers
Date: 12/10/2001
Response: On June 20, 1995, based on information provided in the ASCE letter of April 19, 1995, Safety Recommendations P-95-18 and -19 were classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending receipt of further information from the ASCE. On April 27, 2001, the Safety Board requested information on action that the ASCE had taken to implement Safety Recommendations P-95-18 and -19. To date, the Safety Board has received no further information from ASCE on Safety Recommendations P-95-18 and -19. The Safety Board is aware, however, that ASCE did assist the APWA in developing model programs and statutes and/or guidelines to aid local and state governments to implement the recommendations from the New Jersey Institute of Technology's study on enhancing public safety near high-pressure pipelines. Companion Safety Recommendation P-95-24 to the AWPA was classified "Closed--Acceptable Action," on July 20, 1998. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-95-18 to ASCE is also classified "Closed--Acceptable Action." Because there has been no further information provided by the ASCE concerning Safety Recommendation P-95-19, this recommendation is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action."

From: NTSB
To: American Society of Civil Engineers
Date: 4/27/2001
Response: On June 20, 1995, based on information provided in the ASCE letter of April 19, 1995, Safety Recommendations P-95-18 and -19 were classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending receipt of further information from the ASCE. Specifically, the Board requested to be informed of (1) when the project with the American Public Works Association was completed, (2) the revisions to the Manual of Practice on Crosscountry Pipeline Location, and (3) the results of the review of TRB's 219 report and the New Jersey Institute of Technology's study. To date the Safety Board has received no further correspondence on these issues and we would appreciate learning whether the projects outlined in your 1995 letters were, in fact, completed. We would also appreciate receiving copies of the revisions to the Manual of Practice on Crosscountry Pipeline Location.

From: NTSB
To: American Society of Civil Engineers
Date: 6/20/1995
Response: THE BOARD NOTES THAT THE ASCE IS WORKING WITH APWA TO IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE NJIT STUDY. PENDING COMPLETION OF THIS PROJECT, P-95-018 IS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: American Society of Civil Engineers
To: NTSB
Date: 4/19/1995
Response: ASCE & APWA HAVE BEEN WORKING TOGETHER IN THE PAST ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS. IN FACAT, THREE OF OUR MEMBERS SERVE AS LIAISONS WITH APWA. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH APWA ON PROJECTS OF MUTAL INTEREST INCLUDING THESE MENTIONED ON YOU LETTER. OUR LIAISON MEMBERS WILL MAKE SURE THAT SUCH ACTIVITIES ARE PROPERLY COORDINATED.