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July 20, 1977 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-07-20

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Wednesday, July 20, 1977 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Seven
Human error caused pipeline biast

oil pipeline workers failed to
follow procedures they had
practiced for 10 weeks, leading-
to an explosion and fire that
shut the pipeline this month,
House investigators reported
The House Interior Commit-
tee investigators said the July
8 explosion that killed one
(0ontinued from Page 6)
odd jobs.
MONTALVO, a bricklayer,
and a son later converted the
lower floor into an apartment
with four small bedrooms, a
salon, kitchen and bathroom.
He left the house only twice,
in 1972 and 1975, to be driven
by night to a doctor in Madrid.
When visitors came, he slid
Lnder a bed and his wife shooed
them out as quickly as she
The dictator Franco died in
1975 and political liberty re-
turned under King Juan Carlos
and centrist Premier Adolfo
E N C O U R A G E D by
his son, local leader of the
Socialist Workers- party, the
snowy - haired, shaky old man
came out of hiding with the am-
bition only "of trying to live a
few years more."
"It was a long time, but it
was not a bad time," he said,
as old war comrades gathered
yesterday on the terrace of his
home 35 miles from Madrid, on
a mountainside near the Valley
of the Fallen where Franco is
"We were like a tribe," Mon-
talvo said. "There was nothing
but peace and happiness in this
house," where his presence
was known only by his wife -
now 73 - his brother and sis-
ter, his three children and later
one of his seven grandchildren.
war, a close Republican rela-
tive of Montalvo's was captur-
ed and shot dead. The mayor
decided to hide out in his Cer-
cedilla home, letting himself be
believed dead or imprisoned.
"But I always knew he was
alive, although I didn't know
where," said Lorenzo Gutier-

worker was caused by allowing
oil to go through a pumping
unit that was being repaired at
the time.
THE OIL rushed through an
unsecured hatch into a pump
building, where it ignited, the
investigators said.
The Interior Department had
found earlier that human error

caused the incident near Fair-
banks and the the pipeline was_
not damaged. The department
allowed the oil flow through
the 198-mile pipeline to resume
"The Alyeska Pipeline Service
Co. has prescribed detailed
procedures to be followed when
maintenance is conducted. For
approximately ten weeks, main-
tenance technicians had been

mayor stops hiding

rez, a councillor in Montalvo's
city hall at war's end.
Gutierrez, 69, learned his
childhood friend was alive
when he saw the television news
Monday night. He was reunited
with Montalvo yesterday.
passed," Gutierrez said, weep-
ing and shaking as he leaned
heavily on a stick.
"You were always a good
friend to me, Lorenzo, and
they can't take that away from
you," replied Montalvo. We did
a lot together and we went
a lot of places together."
Another pre-war friend, An-
gel Fernandez, jailed for ten
years after the war, said. "He,
like me, was a martyr. When
I was let out of jail, the fas-
cists beat me five or six times.
He did the right thing."
TH R OU G H the decades,
the former mayor read, .cared
for a chronically sick daughter
and fed sparrows with bread-
crumbs. He saw the newspap-
ers every day and "knew per-
fectly well what was going on
in Spain."
A decade ago, he refused an
amnesty for Republican war of-
ficials accepted by a half-doz-
en others and continued in hid-
ing, spending most of his time
Styling and
Regular Cuts
J-M Stylists
The Union
8:30 A.M.-5:15 P.M.
Mon. thru Sat.

with his newborn granddaugh-
ter, Isabel, now ten.
Montalvo believed that Fran-
co's death changed nothing,
and only the election of Social-
ist deputies June 15 to the first
elected parliament in 41 years
convinced him that it was safe
to come out.
THE OLD MAN, his face pale
an smooth from the long years
underground, said Tuesday that
he has few regrets.
"We laughed more than we
cried. I missed the countryside
and the sun," he said, but ges-
turing at his friends' wrinkled
faces, added.

rehearsing and practicing these
procedures" before the oil be-
gan flowing June 20, the re-
port said.
cedures include written notifi-
cation of the work to other
workers and closing valves to
keep oil from entering the unit
under repair.
However, notification was
not made and other pipeline
workers allowed oil to resume
flowing through the unit under
repair, the report said.
Timothy Glidden, staff direc-
tor of the panel's subcommittee
on investigations, said he had
identified the persons respon-
sible for the explosion but
would not make public their
REPAIRS TO the pump sta-
tion will cost $20 million to $50
million and take six months to,
a year, he said.
The investigators said the in-
cident could have been avoid-
ed if pipeline workers had fol-
lowed the required maintenance
procedures. But they recom-
mended that electronic sensors
be installed to indicate automa-
tically to pumping personnel
when repairs are being done.
Describing the scene at the

pump house, the investigators
said about 15 employes ran out
of the building as the stream
of oil hit the building roof 45
feet overhead.
. "THE OIL ricocheted off the
roof and cascade down in a fine
mist of vaporized hydrocarbons
which quickly turned to a
heavy rain of atomized oil
throughout the building. Within
seconds, the column of oil blew
off several sections of the roof,
ripping out lighting, heating
and air conditioning fixtures.
Something then ignited the oil
and the main pump building of
pump station No. eight explod-
ed," the report said.
The report said a controller
at the pipeline's southern ter-
minus of Valdez was talking
by telephone to a supervisor at
the pump building at the time
of the explosion. According to
the report, the controller in
Valdez heard the supervisor
say, "We have a fire. We've
had a hell of an explosion."
Within eight minutes the flow
of oil through the entire pipe-
line was stopped.
In Los Angeles, Alyeska of-
ficials said the explosion may
have delayed the West Coast's
expected oil surplus by several


MORE INFO? 994-5350 !'
Wednesday, July 27
(Bernardo Betrolucci, 1973) 7 i' 9:15--AUD. A
Marion Brando appears as a sexually aggressive
expatriate who embarks on a three-day affair with
Jeanne (Maria Schneider), a young modish Paris-
ienne. The affair is purely physical, isolated experi-
ence, and the apartment an island in which are
examined certain aspects of human relationships.
With Jean-Pierre Leaud. Rated X. Music ty Oliver
Nelson and Gato Barbieri.

Johnny Bench
During one of my checkups, the doctors found a spot on my
lungs. I thought it might be cancer. So did they.
Luckily, it wasn't. Most people are lucky. Most people
never have cancer.
But those who find they do have cancer are farbetter off
if their cancer is discovered early. Because we know how to
cure many cancers when we discover them earl.
That's why I Want you to have a checkup. And keep
having checkups. The rest of your life.
It'll be a lot longer if you do.
American Cancer Sociey
M PIt C01'aTFIBU~t Y1 U~ itS &sRsstoA o (SseP

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