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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-96-027
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 8:30 A.M. ON 11/21/96, AN EXPLOSION OCCURRED IN THE HUMBERTO VIDAL SHOE STORE & OFFICE BUILDING AT 100 JOSE DE DIEGO CALLE IN RIO PIEDRAS, PUERTO RICO. LOCAL EMERGENCY AGENCIES RESPONDED & INITIATED SEARACH & RESCUE OPERATIONS, BY 12/5/96 30 FATALITIES HAD BEEN CONFIRMED, & 5 PEOPLE, BELIEVED TO STILL BE IN THE BUILDING RUINS, WERE MISSING. LOCAL AUTHORITIES HAVE SUSPENDED SEARCH EFFORTS UNTIL THE BUILDING CAN BE MADE SAFE FOR RESCUE WORKERS.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO: IMMEDIATELY REQUIRE THAT NO EXCAVATION ( EXCEPT DURING EMERGENCY CONDITIONS) BE MADE IN AREAS WHERE BURIED FACILITIES ARE LIKELY TO EXIST UNLESS THE OPERATORS OF THOSE FACILITIES HAVE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED & MARKED THE FACILITY LOCATIONS. (URGENT)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: San Juan, PR, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA97MP004
Accident Reports:
San Juan Gas Company, Inc./Enron Corp. Propane Gas Explosion
Report #: PAR-97-01
Accident Date: 11/21/1996
Issue Date: 12/16/1996
Date Closed: 5/6/1999
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Date: 5/6/1999
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT ON 9/15/98, YOU SIGNED THE LAW FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF A ONE-CALL CENTER, WHICH WILL HELP PROTECT PUERTO RICO'S UNDERGROUND PIPELINE FACILITIES FROM DAMAGE DUE TO EXCAVATIONS. THE BOARD RECOGNIZES THAT PUERTO RICO HAS UNDERTAKEN A MAJOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE PREVENTION EFFORT IN PASSING THIS LAW AND IN ESTABLISHING ITS FIRST GOVERNMENT-RUN ONE-CALL CENTER. ACCORDINGLY, P-96-27, -29, AND -30 HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
To: NTSB
Date: 10/9/1998
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/23/98 10:54:23 AM MC# 981257 ON 9/15/98, GOVERNOR PEDRO ROSSELLO GONSZALEZ, SIGNED THE LAW FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF OUR ONE-CALL CENTER. AS YOU KNOW ONE OF OUR TOP PRIORITIES IS TO PROTECT OUR UNDERGROUND PIPELINE FACILITIES FROM DAMAGE DUE TO EXCAVATIONS. AS PART OF OUR PROGRAM TO LAUNCH A MAJOR EXCAVATION UNDERGROUND PREVENTION EFFORT WE HAVE TAKEN A GIANT STEP FORWARD WITH THE APPROVAL OF THIS LAW AND THE FINAL ESTABLISHMENT OF OUR CENTER, THE FIRST GOVERNMENT RUN FACILITY OF ITS KIND.

From: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
To: NTSB
Date: 10/8/1997
Response:

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Date: 3/7/1997
Response: P-96-27 URGED THE GOVERNMENT TO IMMEDIATELY REQUIRE THAT NO EXCAVATION (EXCEPT DURING EMERGENCY CONDITIONS) BE MADE IN AREAS WHERE BURIED FACILITIES ARE LIKELY TO EXIST UNLESS THE OPERATORS OF THOSE FACILITIES HAVE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED & MARKED THE FACILITY LOCATIONS. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE TASK FORCE FORMED A SUBCOMMITTEE, CHAIRED BY THE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF THE PUERTO RICO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS, TO DEVELOP MEANS TO PREVENT EXCAVATION-CAUSED DAMAGES TO BURIED FACILITIES. SECRETARY BURGOS INFORMED US THAT ON JANUARY 30 SHE DISTRIBUTED TO THIS SUBCOMMITTEE A PROPOSED EXECUTIVE ORDER ON PREVENTIVE ACTIONS THAT CAN BE TAKEN AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE WITHOUT THE NEED FOR LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL. SHE FURTHER NOTED THAT A WORKING GROUP IS EXAMINING BOTH LEGAL & TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THAT PROPOSAL. IN THE MEANTIME, P-96-27 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Date: 2/10/1997
Response: THE BOARD HAS SINCE BEEN GIVEN A COPY OF THE CONTRACT ISSUED FOR THE INSTALLATION OF THE CONDUITS & IS NOW ABLE TO COMPARE THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THE CONTRACT WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE CONDUITS AFTER THEY WERE EXCAVATED.

From: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
To: NTSB
Date: 1/31/1997
Response: THE PUERTO RICAN SECRETARY OF STATE ADVISED THAT SHE DISTRIBUTED A DRAFT EXECUTIVE ORDER ON 1/29/97 TO ADOPT AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE TIME MEASURES THAT DO NOT REQUIRE LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL. THE SUBCOMMITTEE CONSIDERING THIS ACTION WILL EXAMINE THE LEGAL TECHNICAL ASPECTS & BRING THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE NEXT SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING.

From: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
To: NTSB
Date: 12/27/1996
Response: