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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-72-022
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: ENCOURAGE THE EXPEDITOUS COMPLETION OF THE RPI-AAR RAILROAD TANK CAR SAFETY RESEARCH AND TEST PROJECT AND TAKE STEPS TO INSURE THAT THE RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH ARE APPLIED TO ENHANCE THE SAFETY OF TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS.
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: FRA (Closed - Acceptable 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, "THE FRA 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. ADDITION FRA FUNDED RESEARCH CONCERNING TANK CAR TANK BEHAVIOR UNDERFIRE 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 THE REGULATIONS.JANUARY 16, 1973 LETTER FROM AAR TRANSMITTING RAILROAD SAFETY RESEARCH STATUS REPORT TO THE SAFETY BOARD. THE RAILROAD TANK CAR SAFETY, RESEARCH AND TEST PROJECT HAS COMPLETED ITS FIRST MAJOR SUMMARY REPORT. THIS REPORT ISSUEDIN THE FALL OF 1972 WITH SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION TO ENHANCE THE SAFETY OF TRANSPORT OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS BY RAIL.