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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-95-019
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 NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS: ADVISE YOUR MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY CONCERNS ADDRESSED IN THIS ACCIDENT REPORT & URGE THEM TO IMPLEMENT THE LAND-USE IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD'S REPORT 219.
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: 5/14/2002
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: 5/14/2002
Response: Safety Board staff contacted Ms. Ann Powell at the ASCE and received a copy of the March 2002 ASCE newsletter article, which satisfies the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-95-19 is classified "Closed-Acceptable Action."

From: American Society of Civil Engineers
To: NTSB
Date: 12/21/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 01/30/2002 4:07:04 PM MC# 2020112 ASCE has revised the 1965 Manual of-Practice on Pipeline Route Selection for Rural and Cross-Country) Pipelines (M.O.P. 46), and published the new edition in 1998, which references the Transportation Research Board's Report 219 (see catalog description enclosed). In addition, ASCE has prepared a special announcement to inform its members of the public safety concerns addressed in NTSB Report PAR-9501 and to urge them to implement the land-use improvement recommendations in TRB report 219. This announcement includes a link to the full text of TRB Report 219 and will be distributed by e-mail to the ASCE members who have selected Pipelines or Urban Planning and Development as one of their top three areas of interest (8059 and 16,009 members respectively, as of October 5, 2001). In addition an article addressing the same issues will be published in the February 2002 issue of ASCE News, which is mailed to all 125,000 members of ASCE. The same text will be posted on the ASCE web site and will appear in the "Disaster Reduction", "Construction and Materials" and "Geo-Technology" Communities of Practice. ASCE's members and others in the profession will continue to be informed of pipeline safety issues through the work of the Pipeline Safety and Risk Management Committee. The Committee, created in 1999, is charged with identifying and, if practical, collecting and disseminating information and technology related to safety and risk management of pipelines. This information includes, but is not limited to, best industry practices, research efforts, technical studies and modeling, statistical databases, and regulatory initiatives. The Committee's work focuses on hazards that such systems present to the public and/ or the environment as well as the business considerations associated with system failures. I will keep you informed of these actions as soon as they are completed.

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." If the ASCE has completed action in response to Safety Recommendations P-95-19, P-97-37, or -38 and provides details of the action completed, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classifications of these recommendations.

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 UNDERSTANDS THAT THE ASCE IS REVISION ITS MANUAL OF PRACTICE ON CROSSCOUNTRY PIPELINE LOCATION, WHICH HAS CHAPTER ON SAFETY ISSUED, & THAT THE ASCE IS DEVELOPING A STANDARD ON SUBDIVISON & SITE PLANS. WE ALSO NOTE THAT BOTH ASCE WORK GROUPS WILL REVIEW THE TRB'S REPORT 219 & THE NJIT'S STUDY, WHEN COMPLETE, TO INCORPORATE APPLICABLE GUIDANCE. PENDING COMPLETION OF THESE PROJECTS & CIRCULATION OF THE RESULTS TO YOUR MEMBERS P-95-019 IS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: American Society of Civil Engineers
To: NTSB
Date: 4/19/1995
Response: THE ASCE PIPELINE DIVISION HAS A TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON PIPELINE LOCATION & INSTALLATION. THIS COMMITTEE HAS DEVELOPED A MANUAL OF PRACTICE ON CROSS COUNTRY PIPELINE LOCATION, WHICH AS A CHAPTER DEVOTED TO SAFETY ISSUES. THIS MANUAL IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVISION. I WILL FORWARD A COPY OF TRB'S REPORT 219 & THE NJIT'S REPORT TO THAT COMMITTEE FOR INCORPORATING THE APPROPRIATE RECOMMENDATION OF THE REPORT IN THE MANUAL. ADDITIONALLY, THE PIPELINE DIVISION IS ORGANIZING WORKSHOP ON PIPLINE RESEARCH NEEDS. WE HAVE REQUIESTED PARTIAL FUNDING FOR THIS WORKSHOP FOR THE RESEARCH & SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. ASCE WILL EXTEND AN INVITATION TO THE AUTHORS OF NJIT'S REPORT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WORKSHOP & BRIEF THE PARTICIPANTS ON THE FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATION OF THEIR STUDY.