The National Transportation Safety Board
issued five safety recommendations Thursday following completion of its investigation
of the Aug. 27, 2016, chlorine release from a ruptured rail tank car near New
Martinsville, West Virginia.
There were eight
injuries reported in connection with the accident in which 178,400
pounds of liquefied compressed chlorine was released in the course of two and a
half hours after a DOT-105 rail tank car sustained
a 42-inch long crack in its tank shell shortly after being loaded at the Axiall
Corporation Natrium plant.
As a result of the
NTSB’s investigation the agency issued five new safety recommendations, three
of which were issued to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration and one each to the Association of American Railroads and
American Railcar Industries, Inc.
The NTSB also
reclassified safety recommendation R-04-7 – issued to the Federal Railroad
Administration – from “Open – Acceptable Response” to “Closed – Acceptable
Action/Superseded” by safety recommendation R-19-001, which is one of the three
issued to PHMSA Thursday.
recommendations issued to PHMSA call for:
· Promulgation of a final standard that includes enhanced
fracture toughness requirements for tank heads and shells for pressure tank
cars used to transport poison inhalation hazard/toxic inhalation hazard
· Prohibiting use of tank cars transporting poison inhalation
hazard/toxic inhalation hazard materials that are constructed of nonnormalized
steels and are not constructed of steels meeting the highest available fracture
Maintenance guidance for owners of
DOT-105 pressure tank cars transporting poison inhalation hazard/toxic
inhalation hazard materials to establish structural integrity inspection
frequency, define critical flaw size, repair and acceptance criteria for
fracture-sensitive locations and nondestructive testing methods to detect and
The NTSB wants the
Association of American Railroads to ensure local post-weld heat treatment
processes are sufficiently monitored to avoid damage to tank car materials.
Inspection and maintenance procedures to address cracks in cradle pad weld
attachments is the focus of the NTSB’s recommendation to the American Railcar