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Rail News: Safety

TSB data shows rail accidents, fatalities rose in Canada last year


The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) yesterday released its 2013 safety statistics for the rail, marine, pipeline and aviation sectors, which show a total of 3,395 transportation accidents and incidents were reported to the board last year, up 3 percent compared with 2012 data.

The number of incidents increased slightly and the number of accidents decreased by 4 percent compared with the five-year averages. The number of fatalities rose last year, primarily because of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway accident in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, in July 2013 that caused 47 deaths.

A total of 1,067 rail accidents were reported to the TSB in 2013, up 4 percent from 2012's total of 1,027, but comparable to the five-year average of 1,070, TSB officials said in a press release. There were 127 rail-related fatalities in 2013, up from 83 in 2012 and the five-year average of 76.

Accidents involving hazardous materials also increased, from 119 in 2012 to 144 in 2013. Of those, seven resulted in the release of hazardous materials. However, rail incidents decreased from 235 in 2012 to 218 in 2013.

TSB data also shows 305 marine accidents were reported last year, up 6 percent year over year. The pipeline industry reported 11 accidents, up from seven in 2012, and the aviation industry reported 275 accidents, down from 291 in 2012.