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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-19-008
Details
Synopsis: On August 10, 2016, at 11:51 p.m., eastern daylight time, a 14-unit apartment building, located at 8701 Arliss Street, in the unincorporated community of Silver Spring, in Montgomery County, Maryland, partially collapsed due to a natural gas-fueled explosion and fire. The explosion and fire also heavily damaged an adjacent apartment building, 8703 Arliss Street, which shared a common wall with building 8701. As a result of this accident, 7 residents died, 65 residents were transported to the hospital, and 3 firefighters were treated and released from the hospital. The damage from the accident exceeded $1 million. The following are safety issues in this accident: • the location and inspection of service regulators within a structure • the inspection of the gas meter assembly • the notification of the natural gas odor to Washington Gas Light Company • the detection of natural gas through odorants and methane
Recommendation: TO THE GAS TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE: In coordination with the National Fire Protection Association and the International Code Council, work to develop standards for methane detection systems for all types of residential occupancies in both the International Fuel Gas Code and the National Fuel Gas Code, National Fire Protection Association 54. At a minimum, the provisions should cover the installation, maintenance, placement of the detectors, and testing requirements.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Await Response
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Silver Spring, MD, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA16FP003
Accident Reports: Building Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-19-01
Accident Date: 8/10/2016
Issue Date: 6/10/2019
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Gas Technology Institute (Open - Await Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Gas Technology Institute
Date: 6/10/2019
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to assist victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. We are providing the following information to urge your organization to act on the safety recommendation in this letter because we believe your organization can help reduce the risk of future accidents. For more information about NTSB and our recommendation process, please see the attached one-page summary. On April 24, 2019, the NTSB adopted its report, Building Explosion and Fire, Silver Spring, Maryland, August 10, 2016, NTSB/PAR-19/01. The details of this accident investigation and the resulting safety recommendations may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at http://www.ntsb.gov. As a result of this investigation, the NTSB identified the following safety issues: • The location and inspection of service regulators within a structure. • The inspection of the gas meter assembly. • The notification of the natural gas odor to Washington Gas Light Company. • The detection of natural gas through odorants and methane. Accordingly, the NTSB makes the following safety recommendation to the Gas Technology Institute. Additional information regarding this recommendation can be found in the noted section of the report. • In coordination with the National Fire Protection Association and the International Code Council, work to develop standards for methane detection systems for all types of residential occupancies in both the International Fuel Gas Code and the National Fuel Gas Code, National Fire Protection Association 54. At a minimum, the provisions should cover the installation, maintenance, placement of the detectors, and testing requirements. (P 19 008) (See section 2.5.2.) The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number (for example, P-19-008). We encourage you to submit your response to correspondence@ntsb.gov. If your reply exceeds 20MB, including attachments, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions on how to send larger documents. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response.