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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-80-001
Details
Synopsis: ON AUGUST 20, 1979, A BULLDOZER OPERATED BY THE ORANGE COUNTY DRAINAGE DISTRICT, ORANGE, TEXAS, BEGAN TO CLEAN A FARM DRAINAGE DITCH WITH A GENERALLY NORTH-SOUTH ALIGNMENT. AFTER MAKING SEVERAL PASSES ACROSS THE DITCH, THE OPERATOR HEADED THE BULLDOZER SOUTH ALONG THE LENGTH OF THE DITCH. AT 2:15 P.M. THE CORNER OF THE BLADE CUT INTO A PROPANE LINE, OWNED BY THE CITIES SERVICE PIPE LINE COMPANY, WHICH CROSSED BENEATH THE DITCH IN AN EAST-WEST DIRECTION. PROPANE AT 350 PSIG ESCAPED AND WAS IGNITED WITHIN SECONDS. THE RESULTING FIRE KILLED ONE PERSON AND INJURED ANOTHER, AND CAUSED CONSIDERABLE PROPERTY DAMAGE.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION, THE INTERSTATE NATURAL GAS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, AND THE AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE: ADVISE THEIR MEMBER COMPANIES OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS ACCIDENT AND URGE THEM TO DETERMINE IF THE ORIGINAL BURIAL DEPTHS OF THEIR PIPELINES ARE ADEQUATE AND TO TAKE APPROPRIATE CORRECTIVE ACTION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Atchafalya Basin, LA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: FTW79FP013
Accident Reports:
Report #: None
Accident Date: 9/4/1979
Issue Date: 2/26/1980
Date Closed: 5/1/1981
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Gas Association (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
American Petroleum Institute (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Petroleum Institute
Date: 9/26/1980
Response:

From: NTSB
To: Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
Date: 9/26/1980
Response:

From: NTSB
To: American Gas Association
Date: 5/1/1981
Response:

From: American Gas Association
To: NTSB
Date: 3/5/1981
Response: AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION LTR: THE AGA COORDINATING GROUP FOR PIPELINE SAFETY HAS RECOMMEDED THAT THE SUBJECT NTSB SAFETY RECOMMENDATION BE DISTRIBUTED TO ALL AGA MEMBER COMPANY DELEGATES ALONG WITH COPIES OF BUD LAWRENCE'S LETTER TO THE NTSB DATED MAY 30, 1980, AND NTSB REPLY TO HIM DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1980.

From: NTSB
To: American Gas Association
Date: 9/26/1980
Response:

From: American Gas Association
To: NTSB
Date: 5/30/1980
Response: AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION LTR: THE AGA DID NOT ELECT TO PASS THE INFORMATION IN THIS GREENSHEET ON TO MEMBER COMPANIES. THEY STATE THAT INCIDENTS OF THIS NATURE WOULD NOT BE ELIMINATED BY OPERATORS CHECKING THE COVER ON THEIR PIPELINES. THERE WAS ADEQUATE EVIDENCE, IN THIS CASE, OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE PIPELINE IN THE AREA. THE COMPLETE DISREGARD OF EXCAVATORS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED BY THE SAFETY BOARD. AGA BELIEVES THAT DAMAGE PREVENTION PROGRAMS WOULD BE IMPROVED IF EXCAVATORS WERE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS RATHER THAN PLACING THE FULL RESPONSIBILITY ON THE OPERATOR.