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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-74-028
Details
Synopsis: AT 4:30 P.M.,E.D.S.T., ON AUGUST 8, 1973 A 1972 MUSTANG CARRYING FIVE TEENAGERS WAS DRIVEN ONTO THE ELECTRIFIED TRACKS OF THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD BY AN UNLICENSED 15-YEAR-OLD GIRL. THE CAR'S CONTACT WITH THE THIRD RAIL CAUSED A MOMENTARY SHORT CIRCUIT AND INITIATED SEVERE ELECTRICAL ARCING. THE CAR IMMEDIATELY BEGAN TO BURN AT THE FRONT, AND THE FIRE SPREAD TO THE REAR. THE TWO GIRLS IN THE FRONT SEATS ESCAPED THROUGH THE RIGHT DOOR. THE THREE GIRLS IN THE BACK SEAT DIED IN THE FIRE.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION RECONSIDER THE RECOMMENDATION MADE BY THE SAFETY BOARD ON MARCH 29, 1972, IN THE RAILROAD ACCIDENT REPORT REGARDING THE ELECTROCUTION WHICH OCCURRED ON THE PENN CENTRAL TRACKS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON MAY 14, 1971 (NTSB-RAR-72-3). THE RECOMMENDATION STATED: "THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE FEDERAL RAILROAD SAFETY ACT OF 1970, PROMULGATE REGULATIONS TO COVER THE OPERATION OF CATENARY AND THIRD RAIL ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLY SYSTEMS WHEN POWER IS INTERRUPTED UNINTENTIONALLY OR WHEN CIRCUIT BREAKERS ARE ACTUATED BY AN UNKNOWN CAUSE."
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Garden City, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79759
Accident Reports: Automobile Intrusion Onto the Long Island Railroad Electrified Tracks and Fire
Report #: HAR-74-03
Accident Date: 8/8/1973
Issue Date: 10/9/1974
Date Closed: 1/1/1980
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/7/1975
Response: A LETTER FROM THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR STATED THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION WILL STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF PROMULGATING REGULATIONS REQUIRING AN AUTOMATIC DROPOUT OF ALL BREAKERS (DISCONNECTING ALL ELECTRICAL POWER) FEEDING A SECTION OF TRACK, WITHIN A PREDETERMINED TIME PERIOD, SUCH AS THIRTY SECONDS, IF FOR ANY REASON ANY CIRCUIT BREAKER DROPS OUT AND CANNOT BE RESTORED TO SERVICE, EITHER AUTOMATICALLY OR MANUALLY, DURING THE THIRTY SECOND INTERVAL.