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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

NTSB checks off safety recommendation issued after Lac-Megantic rail disaster

Forty-seven people died as a result of a crude-oil train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July 2013. The incident was the worst train disaster in Canada's history.
Photo – Transportation Safety Board of Canada


The National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) safety recommendation issued after the Lac-Megantic rail disaster has been implemented and is now closed, the agency announced Monday.

The recommendation — No. R-14-004 — was issued to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) after a crude-oil train derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July 2013. NTSB's recommendation sought revision of an existing regulation to require comprehensive response plans for worst-case discharges of oil and petroleum products from rail tank cars, agency officials said in a press release.

The rail disaster occurred July 6, 2013, when an unattended crude-oil train, which had been parked at the top of a slope, rolled down the hill before derailing at a high rate of speed in Lac-Megantic. The derailment led to an explosion and fire that killed 47 people and destroyed Lac-Megantic's downtown. It was the worst train disaster in Canada's history.

NTSB's recommendation to PHMSA was included on the board's 2019-2020 "Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements."

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