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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-96-004
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 6:45 P.M. ON 6/9/94, A 2-INCH-DIAMETER STEEL GAS SERVICE LINE THAT HAD BEEN EXPOSED DURING EXCAVATION SEPARATED AT A COMPRESSION COUPLING ABOUT 5 FEET FROM THE NORTH WALL OF JOHN T. GROSS TOWERS, AN EIGHT-STORY RETIREMENT HOME OPERATED BY THE ALLENTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY AT ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA. THE FAILED UGI UTILITIES, INC,. (UGI) SERVICE LINE RELEASED NATAURAL GAS AT 55 PSIG PRESSURE, & THE ESCAPING GAS FLOWED UNDERGROUND TO GROSS TOWERS. THE GAS PASSED THROUGH OPENINGS IN THE BUILDING FOUNDATION, ENTERED THE MECHANICAL ROOM THROUGH FLOOR VENTS, & MIGRATED TO OTHER BUILDING FLOORS.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE UGI, UTILITIES, INC.: REQUIRE THAT PEOPLE HANDLING EMERGENCY CALLS DETERMINE WHETHER ESCAPING GAS IS LIKELY TO ENTER A STRUCTURE, & IF SO, REQUIRE THAT THE INFO BE QUICKLY CONVEYED TO "911."
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Allentown, PA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA94MP003
Accident Reports:
UGI Utilities, Inc., Natural Gas Distribution Pipeline Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-96-01
Accident Date: 6/9/1994
Issue Date: 3/6/1996
Date Closed: 8/7/2001
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: UGI Corporation (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: UGI Corporation
Date: 8/7/2001
Response: The Safety Board is pleased to learn that UGI modified its emergency plan, establishing appropriate action protocols for its customer service representatives (CSRs) (who handle incoming calls) and for its field personnel. Specifically, UGI decided to support the concept of callers notifying UGI first as opposed to "911" when customers are faced with a potential gas emergency. When a gas emergency call is received, the CSR, who is trained to evaluate such incoming information, determines whether the call meets the established criteria to call 911. Because UGI has taken the requested action, Safety Recommendation P-96-4 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: UGI Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 6/1/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 06/06/2001 1:18:34 PM MC# 2010462 For UGI Utilities to address this recommendation, we first had to establish appropriate action protocols for our Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), who handle incoming calls, and our field personnel. Hence, we determined it was essential to support the concept of callers notifying UGI first as opposed to "911" when faced with a potential gas emergency. This was to ensure a qualified UGI emergency response person would be dispatched as soon as possible. Then if the caller considers it appropriate they, the caller, could call "911" also. Approving this concept, we then modified our Emergency Plan accordingly. When a gas emergency call is received, the CSR determines if it meets the established criteria to call "911". All CSRs are trained to evaluate incoming information based on the following criteria as stated in our revised Emergency Plan: 2.1 Response to Leak Calls. I. In the event of an incoming leak call, the Customer Information Center (CIC) will issue an emergency order and dispatch will contact the most appropriate person to investigate the leak report. Any reported gas odor is handled as an emergency situation by UGI and should be handled according to part II of this section. UGI's Manual of Standard Procedures (MSP) Section 6.7.1 provides guidelines for dispatch and response personnel in their response to leak calls. II. At the time of receiving a leak call or arriving at a leak call, any UGI employee will decide, based on the following situations and customer information, if it is necessary for the local "911" call center to be contacted immediately. All "911" call center emergency numbers for each municipality can be found in Section 7 of UGI's Emergency Plan. A. In the event of a direct hit and the gas line is exposed or if there is gas blowing resulting from a hit or severed line, the appropriate "911" call center shall be notified. (Do not call "911" if the gas line was exposed and not damaged). B. If the caller can hear blowing gas, or see a ruptured gas line, and smells a strong gas odor in or outside of an occupied building, the appropriate "911" call center shall be notified. C. If there is a fire or explosion associated with a gas leak, the appropriate "911" call center shall be notified. [Note: UGI's criteria for calling "911" go beyond the intent of the NTSB recommendation]. Criteria for UGI personnel responding to the scene is (this is a continuation of the above procedures): D. If a UGI employee at the scene determines that an occupied building is susceptible to atmospheric drift and/or underground seepage from escaping gas, the appropriate "911" call center shall be notified.

From: NTSB
To: UGI Corporation
Date: 4/4/2001
Response: The Safety Board has not received a response to any of these three recommendations, and we would appreciate learning what action has been taken, or is planned, to implement Safety Recommendations P?96-4 though -6. Please address your response to Ms. Carol J. Carmody, Acting Chairman, citing the recommendation numbers above. A copy of the recommendation letter is enclosed for your reference.