Final Report: Task Force Recommendations Under the Provisions of the Rail Passenger Disaster Family Assistance Act of 2008   [open pdf - 194KB]

"Under the Rail Passenger Disaster Family Assistance Act of 2008, the NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] has the responsibility to assist family members and coordinate public and private responsibilities in the wake of rail passenger disasters. The Board has similar responsibilities for major aviation accidents (under the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996) and developed the NTSB Federal Family Assistance Plan for Aviation Disasters to serve as the model plan in the provision of family assistance in such accidents. Aspects of this plan are also used in the daily responsibilities of the NTSB Transportation Disaster Assistance Division (TDA) to assist family members in all modes of transportation. Relying of 17 years of transportation accident response experience, the plan focuses on meeting the four major areas of concern for family members: notification about the accident, short and long-term information sharing, victim identification, and management of personal effects. [...] Because this plan has worked effectively in major accidents in all modes of transportation, it is well suited to serve as the basis of the rail passenger disaster model plan, with appropriate modifications. The Task Force recognizes that the rail passenger business model will often address the issue of passenger list/manifest somewhat differently than the aviation model. However, NTSB experience in rail accidents, motorcoach accidents, and other 'open population' transportation accident underscores the need for an effective process for accounting for those killed, injured and otherwise involved in these accidents, and to begin the process of family assistance services."

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