Railroad Accident Report: Derailment of Canadian National Freight Train M33371 and Subsequent Release of Hazardous Materials in Tamaroa, Illinois, February 9, 2003 [open pdf - 700KB]
"About 9:04 a.m. central standard time on February 9, 2003, northbound Canadian National freight train M33371 derailed 22 of its 108 cars in Tamaroa, Illinois. Four of the derailed cars released methanol, and the methanol from two of these four cars fueled a fire. Other derailed cars contained phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, and vinyl chloride. Two cars containing hydrochloric acid, one car containing formaldehyde, and one car containing vinyl chloride released product but were not involved in the fire. About 850 residents were evacuated from the area within a 3-mile radius of the derailment, which included the entire village of Tamaroa. No one was injured during the derailment, although one contract employee was injured during cleanup activities. Damages to track, signals, and equipment, and clearing costs associated with the accident totaled about $1.9 million. The safety issues addressed in the report are the effect of bond wire welding on rail integrity and inconsistent instructions regarding the exothermic welding of bond wires. As a result of its investigation of this accident, the Safety Board makes recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration; ERICO Products, Inc.; and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association."
National Transportation Safety Board: http://www.ntsb.gov/