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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-72-021
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 ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS AND THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: ENCOURAGE THE EXPEDITIOUS COMPLETION OF THE TESTING OF INSULATING MATERIALS FOR THE COATING OF THE OUTSIDE OF TANKS, AND, IF A SATISFACTORY MATERIAL IS FOUND, REQUIRE ITS USE ON ALL TANK CARS TRANSPORTING FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS (LIQUEFIED FLAMMABLE GASES).
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable 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: 11/17/1975
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Association of American Railroads (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 8/16/1972
Response: JANUARY 16, 1973 SYNOPSIS OF LETTER FROM AAR TRANSMITTING RAIL SAFETY RESEARCH STATUS REPORT TO THE SAFETY BOARD. RAILROAD SAFETY RESEARCH STATUS REPORT, P. 19A AND B, REPORTS TANK CAR SAFETY RESEARCH STUDIED PROBLEM OF COATING MATERIALS FOR 18 MONTHS, EVALUATED 15 COATINGS, CONSTRUCTED 9 ONE-FIFTHS SCALE, AND 3 FULL SCALE TANKS FOR FIRE TESTS. NO COATING WAS FOUND THAT WOULD MEET AAR CRITERIA; HOWEVER, FURTHER EFFORT IS CONTINUING, AND THERE IS OPTIMISM THAT A SUCESSFUL COATING WILL BE FOUND. OCTOBER 10, 1974 FRA, THROUGH GEN'L. DAVIS RESPONDED, "THE FRA IS CURRENTLY FIRE TESTING INSULATING MATERIALS ON PROPANE LADEN TANK CARS AT WHITE SANDS, NEW MEXICO AND PUEBLO, COLORADO. THE TESTING AT WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE HAS BEEN ONGOING SINCE 1972. A JOINT RESEARCH EFFORT UNDERTAKEN BY THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS AND THE RAILWAY PROGRESS INSTITUTE WAS INITIATED IN APRIL 1970. ADDITIONAL FRA FUNDED RESEARCH CONCERNING TANK CAR TANK BEHAVIOR UNDER FIRE CONDITIONS IS CURRENTLY BEING CONDUCTED AT WHITE SANDS, NEW MEXICO. UPON COMPLETION AND RECEIPT OF FINAL REPORTS FROM AAR/RPI AND ORD&D,OFFICE OF SAFETY WILL EVALUATE THIS DATA FOR POSSIBLE CHANGES OF THEREGULATIONS.