Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-96-018
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 ALLENTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY: EVALUATE THE SAFETY BENEFITS OF USING GAS DETECTORS IN BUILDINGS THAT IT OWNS OR MANAGES THAT ARE SERVES WITH GAS AS A MEANS OF PROVIDING EMERGENCY-RESPONSE AGENCIES W ITH EARLY NOTICE OF RELEASED GAS WITHIN BUILDINGS; INSTALL GAS DETECTORS BUILDINGS IN WHICH IT IS DETERMINED THAT THEY WOULD BE COSE EFFECTIVE & BENEFICIAL.
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: 2/19/1997
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority
Date: 2/19/1997
Response: P-96-18 URGED THE ALLENTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY TO EVALUATE THE SAFETY BENEFITS OF USING GAS DETECTORS IN BUILDING THAT IT OWNS OR MANAGES THAT ARE SERVED WITH GAS AS A MEANS OF PROVIDING EMERGENCY-RESPONSE AGENCIES WITH EARLY NOTICE OF RELEASE GAS WITHIN BUILDINGS; IT ALSO ASKED THE AUTHORITY TO INSTALL GAS DETECTORS IN BUILDINGS IN WHICH IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE WOULD BE COST EFFECTIVE & BENEFICIAL. IN A FOLLOWUP TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH YOU, SAFETY BOARD STAFF LEARNED THAT NATURAL GAS DETECTORS HAVE INSTALLED IN THREE OF THE ALLENTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY BUILDINGS & THAT A GAS DETECTOR WILL BE INSTALLED IN THE FOURTH BUILDING BY THE END OF MARCH 1997. BASED ON THIS INFO, P-96-18 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority
To: NTSB
Date: 5/14/1996
Response: REGARDING YOUR RECOMMENDATION ON GAS DETECTORS, AHA EXPECTS TO RECEIVED BY 5/17/96, A PROPOSAL FROM THE ARCHITECT-ENGINEERING FIRM WE HAVE RETAINED REGARDING BOTH THE EQUIPMENT & LOCATION. IF THIS PROPOSAL ON GAS DETECTION IS ACCEPTED BY THE AHA BOARD, IT IS EXPECTED THAT THE EQUIPMENT WILL BE INSTALLED BY 6/30/96.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority
Date: 5/14/1996
Response: THE BOARD WELCOMES THE AHA'S ENDORSEMENT OF BOTH RECOMMENDATIONS. WE ALSO APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORTS INCLUDING THE NUMEROUS MEETINGS YOU HAVE HELD, TO IMPLEMENT THESE SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS. THE BOARD NOTES THAT THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & GAS DETECTORS WILL BEGIN SOON. PLEASE ADVISE US WHEN EITHER THE EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR THE GAS DETCTORS ARE IN OPERATION. IN THE MEANTIME, P-96-17 & -18 HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Allentown, Housing Authority
To: NTSB
Date: 3/21/1996
Response: REGARDING GAS DETECTORS-" WE ARE RECEIVING COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS FROM THREE DIFFERENT COMPANIES FOR INSTALLING GAS DETECTORS IN THE FOUR HIGH-RISE BUILDING SERVICED NATURAL GAS. WE ANTICIPATE AWARDING A CONTRACT FOR THIS WORK IN THE NEXT FOUR TO SIX WEEKS.