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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
NTSB reports initial facts of BNSF derailment, crude-oil spill in Iowa
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report of a BNSF Railway Co. train that derailed June 22 in Iowa, which resulted in a crude-oil spill.
The report details the initial facts in the investigation, which is ongoing.
The incident occurred June 22 at 4:35 a.m., when a southbound BNSF freight train derailed 33 jacketed DOT-117R tank cars in Doon, Lyon County, Iowa. The train was being operated in a distributed power configuration with two head-end locomotives, two head-end buffer cars, 98 tank cars, one rear-end buffer car and one trailing distributed power unit (DPU) locomotive loaded with about 2,426,325 gallons of UN1267 petroleum crude oil.
Maximum speed on the territory was 48 mph, which is what the Federal Railroad Administration determined the train was traveling when the train encountered the emergency brake application. A total of 10 cars were breached, releasing about 230,000 gallons of crude oil.
Two days before the accident, the area had received 5 to 7 inches of rain, which washed out track and flooded a tributary of the Little Rock River and farm fields adjacent to the derailment location. The released crude oil reached the Little Rock River and prompted the evacuation of 18 to 20 people.
No injuries were reported.
A unified command consisting of BNSF, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Lyon County, Iowa, was established to mitigate and recover the released crude oil.
The shipment originated from the Hardesty Terminal at Rosyth, Alberta, Canada, and its destination was the ConocoPhillips Co. in Houston, Texas.
On July 10, NTSB investigators completed on-scene work in Doon, where tank car wreckage was staged after the accident. Investigators will examine parts removed from one tank car at NTSB laboratories in Washington D.C.
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