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Rail News: Safety

NTSB eliminates three safety recommendations on 'Most Wanted List'

"NTSB safety recommendations, if implemented, can help prevent accidents from happening," said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) yesterday announced it had removed three safety recommendations from its "Most Wanted List" of transportation safety improvements after the board's concerns that led to the recommendations were adequately addressed.

The three listed items were related to pipeline safety, which the NTSB said were improved through recommendations that called for better inspection programs, records and documentation of natural gas systems, as well as procedures to mitigate risks identified during management of change operations.

"NTSB safety recommendations, if implemented, can help prevent accidents from happening, which saves lives," said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt in a press release.

The pipeline safety recommendations that are now closed were issued in the wake of natural gas accidents in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and Merrimack, Valley, Massachusetts. The accidents damage or destroyed homes, injured dozens and killed two people.

"The implementation of these recommendations is a significant step in improving natural gas pipeline safety for these communities and across the nation," Sumwalt said.

The three items addressed on the list were recommendations P-18-001, P-18-007 and P-18-009.

The NTSB now has determined that 11 of its safety recommendations have been successfully closed since it announced the 2019-20 Most Wanted List in February.

Railroad safety also was recently advanced when the MTA Long Island Rail Road and the MTA Metro-North Railroad implemented NTSB safety recommendations R-17-009 and R-17-010, which were issued after the board's investigation of a February 2015 grade crossing accident in Valhalla, New York. Six people died and 10 were injured in that accident.

The recommendations sought the risk assessment and subsequent risk mitigation for grade crossings with third-rail systems at or near the crossings, NTSB officials said. Because safety recommendation R-17-010 was issued to multiple recipients, the recommendation remains listed as open in the NTSB's database. Neither recommendation was on the 2019-20 Most Wanted List.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/5/2019