LAC-MÉGANTIC, QC, July 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Transportation Safety Board
of Canada (TSB) has issued two urgent Safety Advisory Letters to
Transport Canada (TC) in relation to its ongoing investigation into the
Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) train derailment on 6 July
2013 in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.
Safety Advisory Letters
The first issue pertains to the securement of equipment and trains left
unattended. The TSB investigation has determined that the braking force
applied was insufficient to hold the train on the 1.2% descending
slope, and is asking TC to review the Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR) 112 [Securing
Equipment] and the related railway special instructions to ensure that
equipment and trains left unattended are properly secured in order to
prevent unintended movements.
The second issue concerns the securement of trains carrying dangerous
goods. Given the importance of the safe movement of dangerous goods and
the vulnerability of unattended equipment, the TSB is asking TC to review all railway operating procedures to ensure that trains
carrying dangerous goods are not left unattended on a main track.
Work to date
The TSB continues to make progress in a number of parallel streams in
the field phase of its investigation. Numerous investigators and other
experts are working on site, at the headquarters in Gatineau, or at our
engineering laboratory in Ottawa. This investigation remains the top
priority for the TSB.
Locomotive event recorder
As previously mentioned, the TSB has downloaded key information from the
locomotive event recorder and the sense and braking unit and the work
TSB investigators inspected the tracks, and conducted a site survey,
photogrammetry and videography to determine track grade and position,
and this information will be used for future calculations and computer
Investigators have conducted mechanical inspections and photographed 22
tank cars to date to document accident damage. Sample pieces of the
tank cars are also being sent to the TSB laboratory in Ottawa for
further metallurgical analysis.
The TSB is conducting 3D laser imaging with the assistance of the U.S.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to record three-dimensional
data of the accident scene and different pieces of the wreckage. The
scanner will be used to create full-color still images and assist in
Samples were taken of the products inside selected tank cars to
determine their exact properties. Shipping documents and train journals
are being reviewed to ensure the information is accurate.
Investigators have conducted numerous interviews. They have interviewed
the locomotive engineer and other employees from MMA, first responders
such as firefighters, and officials from TC, among others. This
important work continues, but it is important to note that under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, all interviews are protected information and will not be publicly
We have collected data from Transport Canada in order to examine
regulatory oversight. This will include aspects such as inspections
and train operations (one-man crews), as well as MMA's safety
management systems to determine if there are any deficiencies that need
Next of kin
TSB participated in a Sûreté du Québec briefing with the victims' next
of kin at which the TSB investigative process was explained. As per
our investigative process, we committed to keep them informed during
Visit the active investigation page for more information about this accident.
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline,
railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the
advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the
Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
SOURCE: Transportation Safety Board of Canada
For further information:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
The TSB is online at www.tsb.gc.ca. Keep up to date through RSS, Twitter @TSBCanada, YouTube, Flickr and our blog.