The National Transportation Safety Board has blamed Texas Eastern Products Pipeline Co. for a Mar. 13, 1990, propane pipeline explosion at North Blenheim, N.Y.
The accident killed two persons and injured seven.
The pipeline rupture spilled 100,000 bbl of propane, which caught fire and destroyed 14 houses. NTSB said private property dam-ages were $654,000 and Texas Eastern's losses were $3.4 million.
NTSB's report on the accident said repair work to clear an electrical short on the pipeline 3 weeks before the accident left the pipe inadequately supported, and resulting stresses on the pipe led to the rupture.
The agency said Texas Eastern's "failure to provide adequate procedures, equipment, training, and management oversight" of mainte-nance was the probable cause of the accident.
It said the pipeline's employees were not given adequate instruction and information needed to correctly perform the work without supervision. It said the repairs to the pipeline were not consistent with Texas Eastern's written procedures, industry standards, or federal requirements.
Texas Eastern's monitoring system, used to detect abnormal pipeline operations, "was not adequate to promptly detect and alert the Texas Eastern personnel of the rupture because the 165 mile pipeline was monitored at an insufficient number of locations" and pressure differential alarm settings were "insufficiently sensitive."
NTSB recommended the Transportation Department define operating parameters for pipelines to use in monitoring for abnormal operations and establish standards for monitoring systems.
It recommended Texas Eastern improve employee training, install valves that close in the event of a pipeline rupture, and improve liaison with local emergency response agencies.
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