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Train accidents decline, but trespasser/employee fatalities rise - FRA data

Railroads reported fewer train accidents — a lot fewer — during 2002’s first five months, compared with the same period last year. But railroad employee and trespasser fatalities were up — way up — over that same span, according to Federal Railroad Administration data issued in mid-August.

In the agency's preliminary report for the year’s first five months, 646 U.S. railroads reported 5,535 total accidents/incidents through May, compared with 6,835 for the same 2001 period — a 19 percent decline. At 1,044, train accidents dropped 18.2 percent over that same span.

But those same railroads recorded 382 total fatalities during 2002's first five months, about the same as the 384 reported during the first five months of 2001. Roads recorded 225 trespasser fatalities, or 17.8 percent more than the 191 they recorded during the same period last year; and 10 employee fatalities, 43.9 percent more than the seven they recorded during 2001's first five months.

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More News from 8/21/2002