Accident: Little General Store Propane Explosion
Location: Location: Ghent, WV
Accident Occured On: 01/30/2007 | Final Report Released On: 09/25/2008
Accident Type: Flammable Vapor
Investigation Status: The CSB's final report was approved by the Board at a public meeting in Beckley, West Virginia, on September 25, 2008.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Revise the Fire Commission rules and codes to require annual hazardous materials response refresher training for all firefighters in West Virginia.
Revise the Fire Commission rules and codes to require that all West Virginia fire departments perform at least one hazardous material response drill annually.
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.