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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-82-001
Details
Synopsis: ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1981, A NORTHBOUND TRUCK TRACTOR-CARGO TANK SEMITRAILER LOADED WITH 8,986 GALLONS OF GASOLINE WAS STRUCK BY A WESTBOUND FREIGHT TRAIN AT A RAILROAD/ HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING ON JORDAN LANE IN HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA. THE GASOLINE CARGO ESCAPING FROM THE RUPTURED CARGO TANK SPLASHED OVER THE LOCOMOTIVE AND FOUR PASSENGER CARS THAT HAD STOPPED NORTH OF THE TRACK TO AWAIT THE TRAIN'S PASSAGE, AND IGNITED. AT THE TIME, THE CROSSING WARNING RED LIGHTS WERE FLASHING AND THE BELL WAS RINGING, AND ITS WHISTLE WAS SOUNDING. FIVE PERSONS WERE KILLED, TWO PERSONS DIED LATER AS A RESULT OF THEIR INJURIES, AND FOUR OF FIVE TRAIN CREWMEMBERS WERE INJURED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE STATE OF ALABAMA: EMPHASIZE AND EXPAND THE EXISTING OPERATION LIFESAVER PROGRAM TO MORE FULLY INVOLVE MUNICIPALITIES AND TO BUILD ON THE SOUTHERN RAILWAY SYSTEM PILOT PROGRAM IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS SPECIFICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH TRUCKS CARRYING BULK HAZARDOUS MATERIALS OVER GRADE CROSSINGS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Huntsville, AL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA81AH010
Accident Reports: ​Miller Transporters Inc., Tractor Cargo Tank Semitrailer/Southern Railway System Freight Train Collision and Fire
Report #: RHR-82-01
Accident Date: 9/15/1981
Issue Date: 3/25/1982
Date Closed: 8/17/1983
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: State of Alabama (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of Alabama
Date: 8/17/1983
Response: The Safety Board is pleased that the State of Alabama is supporting the efforts of the "Operation Lifesaver" program to increase public awareness of railroad/highway grade crossing hazards. Based on your efforts, and those of the Southern Railway System, to help municipalities become more aware of the problems associated with trucks carrying bulk hazardous materials over grade crossings, we have classified Safety Recommendation H-82-1 as "Closed-Acceptable Action."

From: State of Alabama
To: NTSB
Date: 6/8/1983
Response: GOVERNOR OF ALABAMA LETTER: OPERATION LIFESAVER PROGRAM, A PILOT DEVELOPED BY SOUTHERN RAILWAY SYSTEM, CONTINUES TO EXIST AND IS SUPPORTED BY THE GOVERNOR'S HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMITTEE AS WELL AS THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT.

From: NTSB
To: State of Alabama
Date: 5/19/1983
Response: On March 25, 1982, the Safety Board issued Safety Recommendations H-82-1 through -3 to the State of Alabama. These Safety Recommendations were issued as a result of its investigation of the collision of a freight train and a tractor cargo tank-semitrailer transporting gasoline at a railroad/highway grade crossing on Jordan Lane in Huntsville, Alabama, on September 15, 1981. The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency with the statutory responsibility "…to promote transportation safety by conducting independent accident investigations and by formulating safety improvement recommendations" (Public Law 93-633). The Safety Board is vitally interested in any actions taken as a result of its safety recommendations. Our records show that we have not received any indication of action taken by the State of Alabama regarding the recommended actions. We would appreciate being informed as to what efforts were made to implement the above recommendations. The Safety Board's letter including these recommendations is enclosed for your information.