NFPA responded to a deadly power plant explosion in 2010 by creating a new consensus standard in a fraction of the time required to complete a typical document. The result, NFPA 56 (PS), demonstrates the ability of standards development organizations to move quickly to help safeguard lives and property. (Photo: AP/Wide World)
From the new NFPA Journal®, by Fred Durso, Jr.
Edward Badamo was at home when he heard the distant rumbling sound. It was about 11:15 on a Sunday morning, and at first Badamo, who is chief of the South Fire District in Middletown, Connecticut, and off duty at the time, thought the rumbles were the sounds of his two Rottweiler dogs wrestling. He soon learned otherwise. Badamo’s teenaged son heard the dispatches on his father’s emergency radio and was the first to inform him that the noise was something worse — an explosion had occurred at Kleen Energy, a natural gas-fueled power plant under construction about five miles away.
Badamo arrived at Kleen Energy minutes later and witnessed a horrific scene: large plumes of smoke and fire erupting from the rear of the building, bloodied workers carrying their injured colleagues to safety as other workers frantically searched for survivors, ignoring the smoke and flames and live electrical hazards. The damage was so catastrophic that it took Badamo, who was the incident commander, and the other first responders nearly two days to account for all of the plant’s employees, both alive and deceased. Six workers died and nearly 50 others were injured.
NFPA senior engineer Denise Beach illustrates several industrial practices covered by NFPA 56.