Railroad Accident Report: Derailment of Norfolk Southern Railway Company Train 68QB119 with Release of Hazardous Materials and Fire, New Brighton, Pennsylvania, October 20,2006   [open pdf - 12MB]

"About 10:41 p.m. eastern daylight time on Friday, October 20, 2006, Norfolk Southern Railway Company train 68QB119, en route from the Chicago, Illinois, area to Sewaren, New Jersey, derailed while crossing the Beaver River railroad bridge in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. The train consisted of a three-unit locomotive pulling 3 empty freight cars followed by 83 tank cars loaded with denatured ethanol, a flammable liquid. Twenty-three of the tank cars derailed near the east end of the bridge, with several of the cars falling into the Beaver River. Of the 23 derailed tank cars, about 20 released ethanol, which subsequently ignited and burned for about 48 hours. Some of the unburned ethanol liquid was released into the river and the surrounding soil. Homes and businesses within a seven-block area of New Brighton and in an area adjacent to the accident were evacuated for 2 days. No injuries or fatalities resulted from the accident. The Norfolk Southern Railway Company estimated total damages to be $5.8 million. The safety issues identified in this accident are ultrasonic rail inspection and rail defect management, oversight of the internal rail inspection process and requirements for internal rail inspection, and the placement of hazardous materials cars in trains for crew protection. As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board makes recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and the Norfolk Southern Railway Company."

Report Number:
Public Domain
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National Transportation Safety Board: http://www.ntsb.gov/
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