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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-87-053
Details
Synopsis: AT 4:25 P.M. E.D.T., ON JULY 8, 1986, 15 CARS OF A SOUTH BOUND BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY FREIGHT TRAIN CONSISTING OF 44 CARS AND A LOCOMOTIVE, DERAILED WHILE TRAVELING AT 45 MPH NEAR MIAMISBURG, OHIO. THREE OF THE 15 DERAILED CARS WERE TANK CARS CONTAINING YELLOW PHOSPHORUS, MOLTEN SULFUR, AND TALLOW. WHILE DERAILING ON A BRIDGE, THESE TANK CARS WERE EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED, LOST PRODUCT, AND WERE INVOLVED IN THE RESULTING FIRE. APPROX IMATELY 7,000 RESIDENTS FROM A SECTION OF MIAMISBURG WERE INITIALLY EVACUATED AS A SAFETY PRECAUTION. ON THE FOL LOWING DAY AS A WRECKAGE-CLEARING CREW CONTRACTED BY THE RAILROAD WAS PREPARING TO REMOVE THE SMOLDERING PHOSPHORUS TANK CAR, A CONCRETE STRUCTURE SUPPORTING THE TANK CAR COL LAPSED AND SEVERAL HUNDRED GALLONS OF MOLTEN PHOSPHORUS IN SIDE THE TANK CAR ESCAPED AND IGNITED, RESULTING IN AN EX TENSIVE CLOUD OF PHOSPHORUS COMBUSTION EFFLUENTS. DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS, A 3-SQUARE-MILE AREA OF MONTGOMERY COUN TY, OHIO, WAS EVACUATED, FORCING AN ESTIMATED 30,000 PEOPLE TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES AND BUSINESSES; 569 PERSON WERE TREATED FOR VARIOUS COMPLAINTS DURING THE INCIDENT. TOTAL PROPERTY DAMAGE WAS APPROXIMATELY $3,540,000, INCLUDING THE COST OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS CLEANUP.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS: REVISE PRESENT ATTACHMENT STANDARDS FOR NEW TANK CARS AND REQUIRE APPROPRIATE MODIFICATION OF EXISTING TANK CARS BASED ON DEFICIENCIES IDENTIFIED IN ITS ANALYSIS OF THE CAUSES OF TANK CAR ATTACHMENT FAILURES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Miamisburg, OH, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA86HZ003
Accident Reports: Derailment of CSX Transportation Extra 7614​​Hazardous Materials Release Following the Derailment of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company Train No. SLFR
Report #: HZM-87-01
Accident Date: 7/8/1986
Issue Date: 10/16/1987
Date Closed: 12/17/1992
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Association of American Railroads (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Association of American Railroads
Date: 12/17/1992
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT SINCE JANUARY 1, 1988, FINE-GRAIN PRACTICE STEEL IS REQUIRED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ALL NEW NONPRESSURE TANK CAR TANKS, AND SINCE JANUARY 1, 1989, NORMALIZED FINE-GRAIN STEELS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ALL NEW PRESSURE TANK CAR TANKS TO REDUCE BRITTLE FRACTURES. THE SAFETY BOARD ALSO NOTES THAT THE AAR TANK CAR COMMITTEE WILL UNDERTAKE A THOROUGH STUDY OF THE RECOMMENDATION TO REQUIRE USE OF FINE-GRAIN PRACTICE STEELS FOR TANK ATTACHMENTS, AND THAT ALTHOUGH THE AAR IS NOT AWARE OF ANY TANK BUILDERS WHO USE TANK ATTACHMENT PADS OF ONLY 1/4-INCH THICKNESS, IT WILL CONSIDER CHANGES TO THE STANDARDS THAT NOW PERMIT THE USE OF 1/4-INCH THICK PADS. FURTHER, THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT EXAMINATION OF SPECIFIED STRUCTURAL WELDS FOR NEW TANK CAR CONSTRUCTION IS NOW REQUIRED AND THAT A STUB SILL INSPECTION PROGRAM FOR EXISTING TANK CARS UNDER THE OVERSIGHT OF THE AAR AND THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION IS CURRENTLY IN PLACE. THE SAFETY BOARD BELIEVES THAT THESE ACTIONS SATISFY THE INTENT OF SAFETY RECOMMENDATION R-87-053, WHICH IS CLASSIFIED AS "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 10/14/1992
Response: THE AAR THROUGH THE TANK CAR COMMITTEE HAS TAKEN THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS TO ADDRESS CONCERNS: FINE-GRAIN PRACTICE STEELS HAVE BEEN REQUIRE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ALL NEW NON-PRESSURE TANK CAR TANKS SINCE JANUARY 1, 1988. NORMALIZED FINE-GRAIN STEELS HAVE BEEN REQUIRED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ALL NEW PRESSURE CAR TANKS SINCE 1/1/89. REQUIREMENTS HAVE BEEN ADDED TO APPENDIX W OF M-1002, SPECIFICATION FOR TANK CARS, TO REQUIRE NON-DESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION OF SPECIFIED STRUCTURAL WELDS FOR NEW CAR CONSTRUCTION. WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE SEATTLE, WASHINGTON INCIDENT, OVER 2700 SISTER CARS WERE REQUIRED TO EITHER RECEIVE REDESIGNED HEAD BRACES (INCLUDING PAD EXTENSIONS USING FINE-GRAIN PRACTICE MATERIALS) OR TO BE INSPECTED ANNUALLY. (2451 CARS HAVE BEEN MODIFIED AND 180 REMAIN SUBJECT TO ANNUAL INSPECTION.) TO ALLAY CONCERNS ABOUT ADEQUACY OF 1/4 INCH THICK PADS AND PAD MATERIAL, AAR WILL UNDERTAKE A THOROUGH STUDY OF THE RECOMMENDATION TO REQUIRE USE OF FINE-GRAIN PRACTICE STEELS FOR TANK ATTACHMENT PADS AND WILL CONSIDER DEVELOPMENT OF POSSIBLE AAR LIMITATIONS ON THE USE OF 1/4 INCH THICK PADS.

From: NTSB
To: Association of American Railroads
Date: 9/10/1992
Response: AS NOTED IN YOUR LETTER OF 7/30/92, THE BOARD IS AWARE THAT THE AAR'S TANK CAR COMMITTEE IS INVOLVED IN AN AGGRESSIVE STUB SILL INSPECTION PROGRAM. THE BOARD ALSO IS AWARE THAT TESTS ARE BEING CONDUCTED AT THE AAR'S TRANSPORTATION TEST CENTER IN PUEBLO, CO, TO EVALUATE STUB SILL/TANK SHELL ATTACHMENTS. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE PERIODIC UPDATES ON THE STATUS OF THE STUB SILL INSPECTION & TEST PROGRAMS, & ANY ACTIONS TAKEN TO ADDRESS DEFICIENCIES IDENTIFIED. THE BOARD WOULD ALSO APPRECIATE INFORMATION ON ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE AAR TO ASSESS THE OVERALL PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED WITH ATTACHMENTS TO TANK CARS, INCLUDING THE FRACTURES FOUND IN TANKS AT AREAS ADJACENT TO REINFORCING PADS, THE BRITTLE PROPERTIES OF STEEL FROM WHICH PADS & TANKS MAY BE MADE, & THE ADEQUACY OF 1/4-INCH-THICK REINFORCING PADS. PENDING RECEIPT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE AAR TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED WITH ATTACHMENTS TO TANK CARS, RECOMMENDATION R-87-53 REMAINS CLASSIFIED AS "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 7/30/1992
Response: THE MIAMISBURG ACCIDENT WAS ATTRIBUTED TO THE ABSENCE OF REINFORCING PAD UNDER AIR BRAKE EQUIPMENT SUPPORTS ATTACHED TO THE TANK SHELL. ALL EXISTING CARS SIMILAR TO THE CAR INVOLVED IN MIAMISBURG MUST BE REPAIRED OR REMOVED FROM SERVICE BY AUGUST 15, 1992. WE BELIEVE THAT THOSE ACTIONS FULLY COMPLY WITH THE INTENT OF THE RECOMMENDATION. IT NOW APPEARS THAT THE SAFETY BOARD HAS BR0ADENED THE SCOPE OF THE RECOMMENDATION TO INCLUDE CONCERNS RELATED TO THE STRUCTURAL ATTACHMENT OF SUB SILLS TO TANK CAR TANKS. THE STUB SILL ATTACHMENT DESIGN AND THE INTEGRITY OF STUB SILLS ARE BEING AGGRESSIVELY PURSUED THROUGH A RECENTLY IMPLEMENTED INSPECTION PROGRAM. ANY DEFICIENCIES RELATED TO DESIGN OR MATERIALS OF CONSTRUCTION WILL BE IMMEDIATELY ADDRESSED BY THE TANK CAR COMMITTEE. PROGRESS ON THIS INSPECTION PROGRAM IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 7 YEARS. REQUEST THAT THE ISSUE OF STUB SILL ATTACHMENTS AND RELATED METALLURGICAL CONSIDERATIONS, BE CONSIDERED SEPARATELY FROM THE MIAMISBURG INCIDENT AND THAT THE RECOMMENDATION BE "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: NTSB
To: Association of American Railroads
Date: 7/10/1992
Response: Safety Recommendation R-87-53 urged the AAR to revise its attachment standards for new tank cars to require appropriate modification of existing tank cars based on deficiencies identified in its analysis of the causes of tank car attachment failures. As you know, the absence of reinforcing pads for air brake supports resulted in a tear in a tank car shell transporting phosphorus in the Miamisburg accident. Your letter refers to the new regulations published on October 8, 1991, by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that prohibit the transportation of hazardous materials in tank cars that do not have the appropriate reinforcing plates for the attachment of air brake supports. Your letter also notes that the AAR issued a maintenance advisory resulting in the repair or the removal from rail transportation of all tank cars that are similar to those involved in the Miamisburg accident. Further, a representative of the AAR's Mechanical Division told our hazardous materials staff that the AAR published supplemental requirements for reinforcing pads for attachments to tanks in the I.990 edition of the AAR's Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices, Specifications for Tank Cars. The AAR's standards for reinforcing pads are nearly identical to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) requirements in 49 CFR 179.100-16(a) for pressure tank cars and 49 CFR 179.200-19(b) fornonpressure tank cars. The Safety Board recognizes that the AAR's standards are meant to supplement and not replace the Federal requirements. In issuing Safety Recommendation R-87-53, however, the Safety Board also addressed the issue of brittle fractures found in tanks at areas adjacent to reinforcing pads that were installed on tanks. The Safety Board noted concerns about the quality of the fillet welds between the reinforcing pad and the tank, the low-temperature brittle properties of the steel from which both the pads and tanks 'were made, and the adequacy of l/4-inch-thick reinforcing pads. The recommendation called for the appropriate modification of all existing tank cars based on any deficiencies identified in the AAR's analyses of failures of attachments to tank cars. Although the AAR has taken actions to remove from service those tank cars without reinforcement pads between tanks and attachments, the AAR's response of May 26, 1992, does not address the problem of fractures found in tanks at areas adjacent to reinforcing pads. Therefore, the Safety Board requests the AAR to provide information about actions taken to address this problem. Pending the receipt of this additional information, Safety Recommendation R-87-53 remains classified as "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 5/26/1992
Response: CARS WITH TUBULAR BRAKE SUPPORT WELDED TO THE TANK SHELL, LIKE THE CAR INVOLVED IN THE MIAMISBURG, OHIO DERAILMENT, ARE BEING CORRECTED BY AAR ACTION WITH THE TANK CAR OWNERS (REFERENCE AAR MAINTENANCE ADVISORY MA-03 AND SUBSEQUENT DIRECTIVES). AFTER AUGUST OF THIS YEAR, ALL OF THOSE TANK CARS, REGARDLESS OF THE COMMODITY SERVICE, MUST BE MODIFIED OR SCRAPPED. IN ADDITION, AS A RESULT OF THE REQUIREMENT IN THE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS UNIFORM TRANSPORATATION SAFETY ACT, FRA HAS ISSUED FINAL RULES THAT PROHIBIT ANY TANK CAR THAT DOES NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED REINFORCING PAD FROM TRANSPORTING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS.

From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 4/13/1990
Response:

From: NTSB
To: Association of American Railroads
Date: 6/9/1988
Response: The Safety Board is pleased to note that, based on findings from incident investigations, the AAR has initiated new studies in several areas and is currently reviewing requirements for tank car reinforcing pads, nozzle design, and corrosion testing for alloy steels. However, acceptable completion of this safety recommendation is dependent upon use of findings from a comprehensive analysis of all R-1's. Consequently, this recommendation is being held in an "Open - Acceptable Action" status pending receipt of a response to our request for more information concerning AAR's analysis of R-l reports, and an update on AAR's review of the previously mentioned requirements.

From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 2/22/1988
Response: AS INDICATED IN THE ABOVE RESPONSE TO R-87-52, SPECIFICATION REVISIONS ARE PROGRESSED BY THE TANK CAR COMMITTEE WHEN DEFICIENCIES ARE IDENTIFIED IN THE REVIEW PROCESS. WE ARE PLEASED TO REPORT THAT THE COMMITTEE HAS INITIATED STUDIES IN SEVERAL AREAS AS A RESULT OF INFORMATION DEVELOPED IN THE COURSE OF INCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS. SPECIFICALLY, THE COMMITTEE IS CURRENTLY REVIEWING REQUIREMENTS FOR REINFORCING PADS, NOZZLE DESIGN, AND CORROSION TESTING FOR ALLOY STEEL TANK MATERIALS, AND DEPENDING ON CONFIRMATION OF EFFECTIVENESS CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO POSSIBLE MODIFICATION OF EXISTING CARS.