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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-83-089
Details
Synopsis: ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1982, ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF RAILROAD (ICG) FREIGHT TRAIN EXTRA 9629 EAST (GS-2-28) DERAILED 43 CARS ON THE SINGLE MAIN TRACK OF THE HAMMOND DISTRICT IN LIVINGSTON, LOUISIANA. OF THE DERAILED CARS, 36 WERE TANK CARS; 27 OF THESE CARS CONTAINED VARIOUS REGULATED HAZARDOUS OR TOXIC CHEMICAL COMMODITIES, 2 CONTAINED NONREGULATED HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, AND 5 CONTAINED FLAMMABLE PETROLEUM PRODUCTS. A TOTAL OF 20 TANK CARS WERE PUNCTURED OR BREACHED IN THE DERAILMENT. FIRES BROKE OUT IN THE WRECKAGE, AND SMOKE AND TOXIC GASES WERE RELEASED INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. THERMALLY INDUCED EXPLOSIONS OF TWO TANK CARS THAT HAD NOT BEEN PUNCTURED CAUSED THEM TO ROCKET VIOLENTLY. ABOUT 3,000 PERSONS LIVING WITHIN A 5-MILE RADIUS OF THE DERAILMENT SITE WERE EVACUATED FOR AS LONG AS 2 WEEKS. NINETEEN RESIDENCES AND OTHER BUILDINGS IN LIVINGSTON WERE DESTROYED OR SEVERELY DAMAGED. MORE THAN 200,000 GALLONS OF TOXIC CHEMICAL PRODUCT WERE SPILLED AND ABSORBED INTO THE GROUND, REQUIRING EXTENSIVE EXCAVATION OF CONTAMINATED SOIL AND ITS TRANSPORTATION TO A DISTANT DUMP SITE. THIS HAS RESULTED IN LONG-TERM CLOSURE OF THE RAILROAD LINE AND AN ADJACENT HIGHWAY. PROPERTY DAMAGE HAS BEEN ESTIMATED TO BE IN EXCESS OF $14 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF RAILROAD: REQUIRE THAT THE REHIRING OF TRAIN SERVICE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE DISCHARGED FOR SERIOUS INFRACTIONS OF THE OPERATING RULES AND RESTORING THEM TO TRAIN SERVICE BE APPROVED BY MANAGEMENT ABOVE THE DIVISION LEVEL.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Livingston, LA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA82AR016
Accident Reports: Derailment of Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Freight Train Extra 9629 East (GS-2-28) and Release of Hazardous Materials
Report #: RAR-83-05
Accident Date: 9/28/1982
Issue Date: 8/12/1983
Date Closed: 12/1/1986
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Illinois Central Railroad Company (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: Illinois Central Railroad Company
To: NTSB
Date: 12/1/1986
Response: THIS IS ACTUALLY A FOLLOWUP AND THE FOLLOWING IS A HISTORY OF PAST CORRESPONDENCE. NTSB'S OCTOBER 23, 1984, LETTER REQUESTING INFORMATION ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOM MENDATIONS. ICG'S JANUARY 28, 1985, LETTER INDICATING THAT IT WILL NOT RESPOND TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS UNTIL LITIGATION HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO A CONCLUSION.

From: NTSB
To: Illinois Central Railroad Company
Date: 12/1/1986
Response: In a letter dated October 23, 1984, the Safety Board noted that our records showed that we had not received any indication of action taken by the ICG regarding the above recommendations, and we requested to be informed as to what efforts were being made to implement these recommendations. On January 28, 1985, the ICG informed the Safety Board that because of pending litigation, it had decided not to respond until the litigation had been brought to a conclusion. While the Safety Board recognizes the constraints litigation may place upon your company, we nevertheless believe that a protracted delay in addressing and responding substantively to our recommendations will result in a derogation of safety in your operations. Given our expresses statutory mandate to undertake every possible effort to promote transportation safety, we have found it necessary, in the absence of a substantive reply from your company, to classify the above recommendations as "Closed-Unacceptable Action." However, if the ICG has any information or documentation to indicate that it has or will be implementing in the near future the intent of these recommendations, the Board would consider reclassifying the recommendations upon receipt of that information.

From: NTSB
To: Illinois Central Railroad Company
Date: 10/23/1984
Response: On August 12, 1983, The National Transportation Safety Board issued Safety Recommendations R-83-83 through -89 to the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad (ICG). These recommendations were issued as a result of the Board's investigation of the derailment of an ICG freight train and release of hazardous materials at Livingston, Louisiana, on September 28, 1982. On August 24, 1983, the Safety Board issued Safety Recommendations R-83-93 through -95 to the ICG as a result of the Board's investigation of the derailment of an ICG freight train at Fort Knox, Kentucky, on March 22, 1983. The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency with the statutory responsibility "to promote transportation safety by conducting independent accident investigations and by formulating safety improvement recommendations" (Public Law 93-633). The Safety Board is vitally interested in any actions taken as a result of its Safety Recommendations. Our records show, however, that we have not received any indication of action taken by ICG regarding the recommended actions. We would appreciate being informed as to what efforts were made to implement these recommendations. The Safety Board's letters including these recommendations are enclosed for your information.