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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation I-79-015
Details
Synopsis: THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD HAS INVESTI GATED MANY ACCIDENTS IN WHICH PERSONS WERE KILLED FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS FROM THE VEHICLES INVOLVED IN THE ACCIDENTS. FOR EXAMPLE, IN EAGLE PASS, TEXAS, 16 PERSONS DIED FOLLOWING THE RUPTURE OF A LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS TANK-SEMITRAILER IN A HIGHWAY ACCIDENT IN 1975. IN YOUNGSTOWN, FLORIDA, EIGHT PERSONS DIED FOLLOWING THE PUNCTURE OF A RAIL TANK CAR CARRYING CHLORINE DURING AN ACCIDENT IN 1978. IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, 5 PERSONS WERE KILLED AND 178 PERSONS WERE INJURED BY THE RELEASE OF ANHYDROUS AMMONIA FOLLOWING THE CRASH OF A TANK-SEMITRAILER IN A 1976 HIGHWAY ACCIDENT. THE SAFETY BOARD HAS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED THE CAUSES OF THESE ACCIDENTS. HOWEVER, THE GRAVITY OF THE CASUALTIES IN THESE AND OTHER ACCIDENTS FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS FAR EXCEEDED THE INITIAL CRASH LOSSES. IMPROVING SURVIVA BILITY IN SUCH ACCIDENTS WOULD CONTRIBUTE SIGNIFICANTLY TO REDUCTIONS IN HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TRANSPORTATION RISKS.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: ESTABLISH PROCEDURES TO PROMPTLY UTILIZE SURVIVAL ACTION DATA AND TO ANALYZE THE HARM FROM AN ACCIDENT IN EVALUATING THE INFLUENCE OF REGULATORY SAFEGUARDS UPON THE OUTCOME OF SERIOUS HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENTS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Intermodal
Location: Houston, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA76H050
Accident Reports: Transport Company of Texas, Tractor Semitrailer (Tank) Collision with Bridge Column and Sudden Dispersal of Anhydrous Ammonia Cargo
Report #: HZM-79-04
Accident Date: 5/11/1976
Issue Date: 12/11/1979
Date Closed: 8/11/1982
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 8/11/1982
Response:

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/6/1982
Response: RSPA RESPONSE: THE MTB HAS HELD A NUMBER OF MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES CONCERNED WITH IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTIONS TO HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENTS. THESE MEETINGS, WHICH CAN BE CONVENED AT THE URGING OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, THE INDUSTRY, OR THE NTSB, REPRESENT AN IMPORTANT MECHANISM FOR RAPIDLY INCORPORATING SURVIVAL ACTION INFORMATION INTO DOT'S EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDEBOOK, AND INTO THE REGULATORY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS MECHANISM AS A MEANS FOR RAPIDLY INCORPORATING DATA HAVING SURVIVAL ACTION VALUE IS DEMONSTRATED BY THE SPECIAL AND LENGTHY CONSIDERATION GIVEN AT ONE OF THE MEETINGS TO THE PHOSPHORUS TRICHLORIDE RELEASE WHICH OCCURRED DURING AN ACCIDENT IN SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS, ON APRIL 30, 180. MTB IS FUNDING A STUDY AT THE JOHNS HOPKINS APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY TO ASCERTAIN THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE 1980 EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDEBOOK (ERG) ON HAZARDOUS MATERIALS (DOT P 5800.2) IN TERMS OF THE ABILITY OF FIRST RESPONDERS TO PROPERLY ACCESS THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE ERG. MTB HAS RECENTLY CONTRACTED WITH CAMBRIDGE SYSTEMATICS, INC., TO FOCUS UPON THE POTENTIAL FOR RESOURCE-SHARING (STAFF, MATERIALS, EQUIP MENT, TECHNICAL EXPERTISE, AND FUNDS) IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TRANSPORTATION PROBLEMS OF PREVENTION, RESPONSE, AND CLEANUP BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY. THE CONTRACT CALLS FOR DATA COLLECTION FROM 14 STATES, REGIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND PRIVATE INDUSTRY. THE CONTRACT ALSO REQUIRES CAMBRIDGE SYSTEMATICS, INC., TO PRODUCE A DOT RESOURCE-SHARING INFORMATION GUIDE FOR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TRANSPORTATION INCIDENTS THAT DESCRIBES MECHANISMS FOR SHARING RESOURCES AND IMPROVING STATE AND LOCAL CAPABILI TIES TO DEAL WITH HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TRANSPORTATION ACCIDENTS.