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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-01-001
Details
Synopsis: About 12:05 a.m. on 2/18/99, railroad tank car UTLX 643593, which was on the west unloading rack at the Essroc Cement Corporation Cement Plant near Clymers, Indiana, sustained a sudden and catastrophic rupture that propelled the tank car's tank about 750 feet and over multistory storage tanks. There were no injuries or fatalities. Total damages, including property damage and costs from lost production, were estimated at nearly $8.2 million. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of Essroc Cement Corporation (Essroc) and CP Recycling of Indiana management to develop and implement safe procedures for offloading toluene diisocyanate (TDI) matter wastes, resulting in the overpressurization of the tank car from chemical self-reaction and expansion of the TDI matter wastes.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: Issue an advisory bulletin reminding shippers of hazardous materials that any time a change is made in the constituents of hazardous materials shipped, they should verify the compatibility of all tank car components, such as valves and gaskets, with all of the commodities to be transported.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Clymers, IN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA99MZ004
Accident Reports: ​Rupture of a Railroad Tank Car Containing Hazardous Waste
Report #: HZM-01-01
Accident Date: 2/18/1999
Issue Date: 3/12/2001
Date Closed: 2/14/2003
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Tank Car Loading and Unloading, Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 2/14/2003
Response: The Safety Board has received and reviewed the FRA's Safety Advisory 2003-1 published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2003, reminding shippers of their duty to verify the compatibility of all tank car components, such as valves and gaskets. Publication of the safety advisory is fully responsive to Safety Recommendation R-01-1, which is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/4/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/11/2002 4:09:51 PM MC# 2020860 FRA is currently drafting a Safety Advisory for publication in the Federal Register to remind shippers of their duty to verify the compatibility of all tank car components, such as valves and gaskets. Publication of the Safety Advisory is anticipated by January 2003.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 8/1/2001
Response: The FRA states that they will issue a similar notice to remind shippers of their regulatory responsibility with particular emphasis on compatibility of components. Pending the issuance of a new advisory bulletin reminding shippers of hazardous materials that any time a change is made in the constituents of hazardous materials shipped, they should verify the compatibility of all tank cars components, such as valves and gaskets, with all of the commodities to be transported, Safety Recommendation R-01-1 is classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/24/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 05/30/2001 5:12:34 PM MC# 2010441 The FRA agrees with the Board’s recommendation as demonstrated by our previous work in ensuring that tank car owners and shippers are fully aware of their statutory requirements. On June 14, 1996, the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) issued an advisory with guidance to shippers of their responsibilities related to hazardous materials transportation. While the advisory was the result of an investigation of an aircraft accident in Florida, the advisory outlines shippers responsibilities regardless of transport mode. The advisory clearly states that shippers have a responsibility to ensure that, under normal transportation conditions, packages of hazardous materials offered for transportation will not experience a release of material or a reduction in the packaging integrity. The FRA will issue a similar notice to remind shippers of their regulatory responsibility with particular emphasis on compatibility of components. We will keep you informed on the progress of this notice.