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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-96-030
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 PUERTO RICO: EXPEDITE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AN EXCAVATION DAMAGE PREVENTION PROGRAM THAT (1) REQUIRE FULL PARTICIPATION FROM ALL ORGANIZATIONS THAT EXCAVATE OR THAT OPERATE BURIED FACILITIES, (2) HAS AN ISLAND-WIND ONE-CALL NOTIFICATION CENTER THAT ACCEPTS EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS 24 HOURS A DAY, (3) HAS EFFECTIVE DAMAGE-PREVENTION REQUIREMENTS THAT INCLUDE GOVERNMENT-PERFORMED COMPLIANCE MONITORING & ENFORCEMENT, (4) INCORPORATES COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR BURIED FACILITY OPERATORS, EXCAVATORS, & THE PUBLIC THAT EXPLAIN HOW TO USE THE DAMAGE PREVENTION PROGRAM, & (5) ESTABLISHES PENALTIES FOR FAILING TO USE THE PROGRAM PROPERLY.
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): Excavation, Training and Education

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-96-29 URGED THE GOVERNMENT TO IMMEDIATELY REQUIRE EXCAVATORS TO PROMPTLY NOTIFY FACILITY OPERATORS OF ANY DAMAGE TO A BURIED FACILITY OR ITS SUPPORT CAUSED BY EXCAVATION OPERATIONS. P-96-30 ASKED THE GOVERNMENT TO EXPEDITE IMPLEMENTATION OF AN EXCAVATION DAMAGE PREVENTION PROGRAM THAT: (1) REQUIRE FULL PARTICIPATION FROM ALL ORGANIZATIONS THAT EXCAVATE OR THAT OPERATE BURIED FACILITES, (2) HAS AN ISLAND-WIDE ONE-CALL NOTIFICATION CENTER THAT ACCEPTS EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS 24 HOURS A DAY, (3) HAS EFFECTIE DAMAGE-PREVENTION REQUIREMENTS THAT INCLUDE GOVERNMENT-PERFORMED COMPLIANCE MONITORING & ENFORCEMENT, (4) INCORPORATES COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR BURIED-FACILITY OPERATORS, EXCAVATORS, & THE PUBLIC THAT EXPLAIN HOW TO USE THE DAMAGE PREVETION PROGRAM, & (5) ESTABLISHES PENALTIES FOR FAILING TO USE THE PROGRAM PROPERLY. SECRETARY BURGOS REPORTED THAT THE SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIRED BY THE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF THE PUERTO RICO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS WILL DEVELOP MEANS TO ACHIEVE THE ACTIONS CALLED FOR IN P-96-29 & -30 AS IT FORMULATES AN OVER ALL EXCAVATION DAMAGE PREVENTION PROGRAM & CONSIDERS THE MEASURES CALLED FOR UNDER THE DRAFT EXECUTIVE ORDER. P-9-29 & -30 HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." THE BOARD APPRECIATES SECRETARY BURGOS' SUMMARY OF ACTIONS THAT YOUR TASK FORCE HAS TAKEN. WE LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING COPIES OF THE FINAL REPORTS YOU APPROVE & SPECIFIC INFO ABOUT ACTIONS YOU HAVE IMPLEMENTED.

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 A SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIRED BY THE DUPUTY SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS WAS ESTABLISHED IN ORDER TO CREATE THE APPROPRIATE SPECIFIC MECHANISMS TO EXECUE THE PROGRAM TO PREVENT DAMAGES DUE TO EXCAVATIONS. DURING THE JANUARY 16 MEETING, THE SUBCOMMITTEE PRESENTED TWO DIFFERENT LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL TO CREATE AN EXCAVATION CENTER THAT INCORPORATES THE "ONE-CALL CENTER" CONCEPT & THOSE NOW HAVE TO BE HARMONIZED INTO ONE PROPOSAL.

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

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Date:
Response: At the 1990 Board meeting addressing the NTSB’s Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements (MWL), the Board voted to place Safety Recommendations P-90-6 and P-90-12 on the MWL under the issue category “Pipeline Excess Flow Valve Installation.” Safety Recommendations P-25-24, P-96-2, P-96-3, and P-96-30 were added at later dates. In May 1997, this category’s name was changed to “Excavative Damage Protection to Underground Facilities.” This issue was removed from the MWL in 2002.