Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-72-020
Details
Synopsis: TRAIN NO. 20, AN EASTBOUND FREIGHT TRAIN OF THE TOLEDO, PEORIA AND WESTERN RAILROAD COMPANY, CONSISTING OF A FOUR-UNIT DIESEL- ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE AND 109 CARS DERAILED THE 20TH TO THE 34TH CARS, INCLUSIVE, AT THE WEST SWITCH OF THE SIDING IN CRESCENT CITY, ILLINOIS, AT ABOUT 6:30 A.M. ON JUNE 21, 1970. INCLUDED IN THE 15 DERAILED CARS WERE NINE TANK CARS LOADED WITH LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS. DURING THE DERAILMENT ONE OF THE TANK CARS WAS PUNCTURED, AND THE LEAKING PROPANE WAS IMMEDIATELY IGNITED, ENGULFING THE OTHER TANK CARS IN THE FIRE. A SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS OF THE REMAINING TANK CARS OCCURRED, BEGINNING ABOUT 1 HOUR FOLLOWING THE DERAILMENT, RESULTING IN THE INJURY OF 66 PERSONS AND THE DESTRUCTION OF A NUMBER OF BUILDINGS WITHIN THE TOWN OF CRESCENT CITY.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: CONCLUDE THE PROPOSED RULEMAKING REGARDING THE TRANSPORTATION OF LIQUEFIED FLAMMABLE GASES IN TANK CARS OF DOT SPECIFICATIONS 112A AND 114A HAVING CAPACITIES EXCEEDING 25,000 GALLONS. THIS RULEMAKING WAS INITIATED WITH THE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS REGULATIONS BOARD'S "REQUEST FOR PUBLIC ADVICE ON SPEED RESTRICTION ON TANK CARS," DOCKET NO. HM-60, PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER ON OCTOBER 15, 1970.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Crescent City, IL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79765
Accident Reports: Derailment of Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad Company's Train No. 20 with Resultant Fire and Tank Car Ruptures
Report #: RAR-72-02
Accident Date: 6/21/1970
Issue Date: 3/29/1972
Date Closed: 9/10/1976
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/16/1972
Response: OCTOBER 10, 1974 FRA, THROUGH GEN'L. DAVIS RESPONDED, "DOCKET HM-38 (RESTRICTION OF CAPACITY OF TANK CARS AND INTER-LOCKING COUPLERS), ISSUED SEPTEMBER 2, 1970, AMENDED THE REGULATIONS TO PROVIDE THE TANK CARS BUILT AFTER NOVEMBER 30, 1970, MUST NOT EXCEED 34,500 GALLONS CAPACITY OR 263,000 POUNDS GROSS WEIGHT ON RAIL. DOCKET HM-60 (TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, REQUEST FOR PUBLIC ADVICE ON SPEED RESTRICTION ON TANK CARS), ISSUED OCTOBER 9, 1970, THE OFFICE OF SAFETY PROPOSED IN THIS NOTICE DOT SPECIFICATION 112A AND 114A TANK CARS HAVING A CAPACITY OF 25,000 GALLONS OR MORE BE LIMITED TO A MAXIMUM SPEED OF 25 M.P.H. WHEN MOVING THROUGH INCORPORATED COMMUNITIES UNLESS ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PROVIDED QUALIFIED MECHANICAL OR VISUAL SURVEILLANCE OF THE TRAIN WITHIN 35 MILES OF THE LIMITS OF SUCH COMMUNITIES: (A) HOT BOX DETECTOR (B) INITIAL TERMINAL INTERCHANGE OR 500 MILE INSPECTION POINT. (C) ROLL-BY INSPECTION AT CREW CHANGE POINTS; OR (D) QUALIFIED RAILROAD PERSONNEL ADJACENT TO THE TRACK. FROM THE COMMENTS AND REPLIES RECEIVED THE FRA CONCLUDED THAT DOCKETHM-60 PROPOSALS COULD NOT BE EFFECTIVELY DEVELOPED INTO RULEMAKING AND THE DOCKET WAS CLOSED.