Railroad Accident Report: Collision of Norfolk Southern Freight Train 192 with Standing Norfolk Southern Local Train P22 with Subsequent Hazardous Materials Release at Graniteville, South Carolina, January 6, 2005 [open pdf - 1MB]
"About 2:39 a.m. eastern standard time on January 6, 2005, northbound Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) freight train 192, while traveling about 47 mph through Graniteville, South Carolina, encountered an improperly lined switch that diverted the train from the main line onto an industry track, where it struck an unoccupied, parked train (NS train P22). The collision derailed both locomotives and 16 of the 42 freight cars of train 192, as well as the locomotive and 1 of the 2 cars of train P22. Among the derailed cars from train 192 were three tank cars containing chlorine, one of which was breached, releasing chlorine gas. The train engineer and eight other people died as a result of chlorine gas inhalation. About 554 people complaining of respiratory difficulties were taken to local hospitals. Of these, 75 were admitted for treatment. Because of the chlorine release, about 5,400 people within a 1-mile radius of the derailment site were evacuated for several days. Total damages exceeded $6.9 million. The safety issues addressed in the report are railroad accidents attributable to improperly lined switches and the vulnerability, under current operating practices, of railroad tank cars carrying hazardous materials. As a result of its investigation of this accident, the Safety Board makes recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration."
National Transportation Safety Board: http://www.ntsb.gov/