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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-73-012
Details
Synopsis: AT ABOUT 7:55 A.M., ON FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 1972, AN EASTBOUND SCHOOLBUS WAS DRIVEN ACROSS A GRADE CROSSING ON GILCHRIST ROAD, NEAR CONGERS, N.Y., AND WAS STRUCK BY THE LEAD LOCOMOTIVE OF A NORTHBOUND PENN CENTRAL FREIGHT TRAIN. EXCEPT FOR A STOP SIGN, AT WHICH THE BUSDRIVER FAILED TO STOP, AND A STANDARD RAILROAD-CROSSING SIGN, THE CROSSING WAS NOT SPECIALLY PROTECTED. AFTER IMPACT THE SCHOOLBUS WAS DRIVEN 1,116 FEET DOWN THE TRACK BY THE TRAIN, AND THE BODY STRUCTURE OF THE BUS DISINTEGRATED. THE REAR SECTION OF THE BUS WAS TORN LOOSE, FELL BESIDE THE TRACK, AND OVERTURNED WITH A NUMBER OF STUDENTS UNDERNEATH. TWO OF THE SEVERAL STUDENTS WHO WERE EJECTED FROM THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE BUS PASSED THROUGH SEPARATED FLOOR SECTIONS AND FELL BETWEEN THE RAILS INTO THE PATH OF THE TRAIN. AS A RESULT OF THE ACCIDENT FIVE STUDENTS DIED, AND THE BUSDRIVER AND ALL 44 REMAINING STUDENTS WERE INJURED. NONE OF THE TRAIN CREW WAS INJURED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE STATE OF NEW YORK AND ALL OTHER STATES: ADOPT AND IMPLEMENT ALL THE PROVISIONS OF THE PRESENT HIGHWAY SAFETY PROGRAM STANDARD NO. 17, PUPIL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY, WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE SELECTION AND TRAINING OF PERSONNEL (PERSONNEL, SECTION IV, C.1), THE SAFE ROUTING OF SCHOOLBUSES, AND THE ELIMINATION OF STANDEES IN SCHOOLBUSES (VEHICLE OPERATION, IV, C.5.).
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Congers, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #:
Accident Reports:
Report #:
Accident Date: 3/24/1972
Issue Date: 3/30/1973
Date Closed: 1/1/1980
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
Keyword(s):