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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-97-012
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 SEARCH & 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 ENRON CORP.: REQUIRE SAN JUAN GAS COMPANY, INC., WHEN SOLICITING A TRAINING PROPOSAL, TO REQUIRE THAT THE PROPOSAL INCLUDE PLANS FOR IDENTIFYING THE TASKS FOR WHICH THE TRAINEES MUST BE TRAINED & ASSESSING THE JOB PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAINEES & THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE TRAINING.
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: 1/6/1998
Date Closed: 9/30/1998
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Enron Corporation (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Training and Education, Trainees

Safety Recommendation History
From: Enron Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 3/3/1999
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 3/8/99 4:17:31 PM MC# 990211

From: NTSB
To: Enron Corporation
Date: 9/30/1998
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASED THAT THE SJGC HAS REVIEWED ITS TRAINING SOLICITATION PROCEDURES, & WILL REQUIRE THAT FUTURE SOLICITATIONS INCLUDE PLANS FOR IDENTIFYING THE TASKS FOR WHICH THE TRAINEES MUST BE TRAINED & FOR ASSESSING THE JOB PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAINEES & THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE TRAINING, AS REQUESTED. THEREFORE, P-97-12 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: Enron Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 1/9/1998
Response: (Letter Mail Controlled 3/30/98 2:32:20 PM MC# 980033) SAN JUAN GAS CONTINUES TO DISAGREE WITH THE BOARD'S CONCLUSION THAT THE TRAINING & JOB PERFORMANCE OF SAN JUAN GAS' EMPLOYEES WAS INADEQUATE & WAS A "CAUSE" OF THE RIO PIEDRAS EXPLOSION. CONTRARY TO THE BOARD'S CONTENTION, SAN JUAN GAS EMPLOYEES DID KNOW THE DEPTH OF THE GAS LINE & PROBED DEEP ENOUGH TO TEST PROPERLY FOR COMBUSTIBLE GAS. THERE IS NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE THAT PROPANE GAS FROM SAN JUAN GAS' SYSTEM IN FACT CAUSED THE EXPLOSION. EVEN THE BOARD CONCEDES THAT THE GAS LEAK THAT IT CONTENDS RESULTED IN THE EXPLOSION WAS CAUSED BY THIRD PARTIES WHO DAMAGED THE SAN JUAN GAS LINE & FAILED TO NOTIFY SAN JUAN GAS. MOREOVER, THE BOARD ADMITS THAT IT FOUND NOT PATH BY WHICH THE PROPANE GAS FROM THIS LEAK COULD HAVE ENTERED THE HUMBERTO VIDAL BUILDING. WITH REGARD TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS IN YOUR LETTER, SAN JUAN GAS HAS IN PLACE PROCEDURES WHICH ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS. THIS INFO WAS PREVIOUSLY COMMUNICATED TO THE NTSB STAFF. SAN JUAN GAS SUBMITTED ITS OPERATING PROCEDURES MANUAL WHICH CONTAINS THE COMPANY'S EMERGENCY PROCEDURES ON 6/21/97. SAN JUAN GAS PREVIOUSLY OUTLINED THE REQUIREMENTS OF ITS TRAINING PROGRAM IN A 5/2/97 LETTER TO THE BOARD, & SUBSEQUENTLY SUBMITTED THE COMPLETE TRAINING PROGRAM TO NTSB STAFF ON 9/2/97.