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Little General Store Propane Explosion
Location: Ghent, WV
Accident Occurred On: 01/30/2007
Final Report Released On: 09/25/2008
Accident Type: Flammable Vapor
Company Name: Little General Store

statistics

Total # of Recommendations
12
Total # of Open Recommendations
1
Total # of Closed Recommendations
11
Total % of Open 8 vs. Closed 92

investigation information

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Accident Description
Four people were killed and five others were seriously injured when propane vapors from a storage tank ignited and exploded at the Little General convenience store and gas station in Ghent, West Virginia. Propane was used as fuel inside the building, which was completely destroyed.
Investigation Status
The CSB's final report was approved by the Board at a public meeting in Beckley, West Virginia, on September 25, 2008.


 

Recommendations

Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials
2007-4-I-WV-6

Develop a guide card for propane emergencies to assist 911 operators in the collection of pertinent information on propane emergencies. The questionnaire in Section 1.9.1 in the Propane Education and Research Council's Certified Employee Training Program may be used as a model.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

Ferrellgas
2007-4-I-WV-12

Establish and implement a comprehensive safety management system that includes at a minimum: -An auditing program developed in accordance with generally accepted methodologies to monitor the performance and effectiveness of safety management systems and personnel at all levels; -An inspection program that uses NFPA 58 as a guide to systematically inspect all customer propane systems and identify all deficiencies; -A means of tracking audits and inspections and identified deficiencies; -A means of tracking corrective actions; -A means of collecting and using audit and inspection data for trend analysis and organizational learning; -A means of periodically reporting audit and inspection trends to the Board of Directors and Managing Board, and; -A provision for periodic safety management system audits conducted by a third party competent in the requirements of NFPA 58.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

Governor and Legislature of the State of West Virginia
2007-4-I-WV-1

Require training and qualification of individuals who operate bulk propane plants, dispense and deliver propane, install and service propane systems, and install propane appliances. The training and qualification requirements should be comparable to those of existing propane industry programs such as the Certified Employee Training Program.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
2007-4-I-WV-5

In the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (NFPA 58) "Qualifications for Personnel" section, specify training requirements (including supervised on-the-job training), training curricula, competencies, and testing through written examination and performance evaluation, or reference a nationally recognized curriculum for these requirements.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

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National Propane Gas Association (NPGA)
2007-4-I-WV-9

Submit a request to the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration for a letter of interpretation to determine if the Certified Employee Training Program curriculum meets the training requirements in 29 CFR 1910.110.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2007-4-I-WV-10

Work with the West Virginia E911 Council with development of propane emergency guidance by providing the Council with the customer leak questionnaire located in Section 1.9.1 of the Certified Employee Training Program and technical assistance.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

Propane Education and Research Council
2007-4-I-WV-7

Revise the Certified Employee Training Program to include: -Procedures for transfer of liquid propane from tank to tank, or -The prohibition of the transfer of liquid propane from tank to tank.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2007-4-I-WV-8

Revise the Certified Employee Training Program to include emergency response guidance for propane service technicians who respond to propane emergencies similar to guidance provided to emergency responders in the Propane Emergencies program.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

West Virginia 911 Council
2007-4-I-WV-11

Work with the National Propane Gas Association to develop and distribute propane emergency guidance for use by all county and municipal 911 communication centers in West Virginia.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

West Virginia Fire Commission
2007-4-I-WV-2

Revise the Fire Commission rules and codes to require annual hazardous materials response refresher training for all firefighters in West Virginia.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2007-4-I-WV-3

Revise the Fire Commission rules and codes to require that all West Virginia fire departments perform at least one hazardous material response drill annually.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services
2007-4-I-WV-4

Revise the Office of Emergency Medical Services rules and codes to require annual hazardous materials response refresher training for all emergency medical personnel in West Virginia.

Status: Open - Unacceptable Response
Open - Unacceptable Response (O - UR) - Recipient responds by expressing disagreement with the need outlined in the recommendation. The Board believes, however, that there is enough supporting evidence to ask the recipient to reconsider.
 

 
 

Related Video

Half An Hour to Tragedy
10/9/2008 5:03:00 PM
Remaining too close to a propane leak proves fatal to responder and others. read more

Download QuickTime Video

Related News

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CSB Safety Recommendations from Ghent, West Virginia Propane Explosion Largely Adopted, Effecting Life-Saving Change
1/27/2012
Monday, January 30, marks the fifth anniversary of a terrible tragedy that occurred in Ghent, West Virginia – a propane explosion that took the lives of four people and injured six others at a Little General convenience store. The accident occurred as an inexperienced worker attempted to transfer propane from a tank located against an outside wall of the store.
read more
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CSB Commends West Virginia Action on CSB Recommendation that Propane Technicians be Trained and Licensed; Action Follows Tragic Explosion at Convenience Store
1/14/2011
CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso today commended West Virginia for its effecctive response to a CSB recommendation that propane technicians in the state be trained, certified, and licensed.
read more
CSB Commends State of West Virginia's Action on CSB Recommendation to Train and License Propane Technicians; Action Follows Tragic Explosion at Convenience Store
10/23/2010
Washington DC, October 20, 2010 – CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso today commended the governor and legislature of West Virginia for their positive response to a CSB recommendation that propane technicians in the state be trained, certified, and licensed.
read more
 
 
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