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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-80-074
Details
Synopsis: ON AUGUST 7, 1978, IN LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA, NATURAL GAS AT 15 PSIG PRESSURE ESCAPED FROM A CORROSION LEAK IN AN INACTIVE 1-INCH STEEL SERVICE LINE AND MIGRATED BENEATH A CONCRETE SLAB AND INTO A BUILDING WHERE IT IGNITED. THE RESULTING EXPLOSION AND FIRE INJURED SIX PERSONS AND DESTROY THE BUILDING AND ITS CONTENTS. ON JUNE 17, 1975, IN A SIMIL ACCIDENT, THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION AND FIRE IN A HOUSE IN STROUDSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA. THE SAFETY BOARD'S INVESTIGATION DISCLOSED THAT GAS HAD BEEN LEAKING INTO THE BASEMENT OF THE HOUSE FROM A CORROSION HOLE IN AN INACTIVE GAS SERVICE LINE THAT HAD BEEN CAPPED, BUT WAS STILL UNDER PRESSURE. NO GAS HAD BEEN USED FROM THE SERVICE LINE FOR MORE THAN 8 YEARS. THE SAFETY BOARD IS CONCERNED THAT THE POTENTIAL FOR AN INAC SERVICE LINE TO BECOME A HAZARD TO PUBLIC SAFETY INCREASES W TIME, REGARDLESS OF THE AMOUNT OF QUALITY OF PROTECTION APPL AN INACTIVE LINE SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO BE ABANDONED AFTER A SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION: INITIATE RULEMAKING TO PRESCRIBE A TIME LIMIT WHEN AN INACTIVE SERVICE LINE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO BE ABANDONED AND PHYSICALLY DISCONNECTED FROM THE MAIN.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Lafayette, LA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: FTW78IP012
Accident Reports:
Report #: None
Accident Date: 8/7/1978
Issue Date: 11/14/1980
Date Closed: 9/3/1985
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 9/3/1985
Response:

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/21/1983
Response: RSPA LETTER: IN AUGUST 1976, THE MTB AMENDED 49 CFR 192.727, ABANDONMENT OR INACTIVATION OF FACILITIES, THE SECTION IN THE REGULATIONS DESIGNED TO ADDRESS THIS TYPE OF ACCIDENT. THE ONLY MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ABANDONED SERVICE LINES AND DISCONTINUED SERVICE LINES IS THAT ABANDONED SERVICE LINES MUST BE DISCONNECTED FROM ALL ACTIVE GAS SOURCES. DISCONTINUED SERVICE LINES ARE SUBJECT TO THE SAME SAFETY MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS AS ACTIVE SERVICE LINES. IN PARTICULAR, THE CORROSION CONTROL REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 192.465, FOR EXAMPLE, HAVE INSPECTION TIME-FRAMES WHICH ARE FAR SHORTER THAN ANY MINIMUM TIME FRAME WITHIN WHICH AN INACTIVE SERVICE LINE WOULD HAVE TO BE DECLARED AS "ABANDONED." ALSO, SECTION 192.725, TEST REQUIREMENTS FOR REINSTATING SERVICE LINES, REQUIRES THAT EACH SERVICE LINE, EVENTHOUGH BUT "TEMPORARILY" DISCONNECTED, MUST MEET THE TEST REQUIREMENTS OF A NEW SERVICE LINE WHEN REINSTATED.