NTSB issues safety recommendations to prevent pipeline ruptures

Washington – The National Transportation Safety Board on Jan. 3 released safety recommendations in light of recently released preliminary findings from a San Bruno, CA, pipeline rupture investigation.

The September pipeline rupture and explosion killed eight people and destroyed 37 homes in San Bruno. According to a press release, preliminary findings from an investigation report released Dec. 14 show that although the pipeline operator records say the pipeline near the area of the rupture was constructed of seamless pipe, it actually was constructed of longitudinal seam-welded pipe.

NTSB issued seven safety recommendations for workers, six of which were classified as "urgent." The recommendations urge pipeline operators and regulators to ensure records, surveys and documents for all pipeline systems accurately reflect the pipeline as it is built. NTSB said it is concerned that other pipeline operators may have discrepancies in their records, which could potentially compromise the safe operation of pipelines nationwide.

A hearing is scheduled for March 1-2 to gather information.

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