TSB RECOMMENDS VERIFICATION OF CN RAIL TIMBER BRIDGES DERAILMENT OF CN FREIGHT TRAIN MCBRIDE, BRITISH COLUMBIA 14 MAY 2003 INVESTIGATION REPORT R03V0083 STAND-ALONE RECOMMENDATIONS
(Gatineau, Quebec) (22 December 2003) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today issued two stand-alone recommendations as part of its investigation into the derailment of a Canadian National freight train near McBride, British Columbia on May 14th, 2003.
In issuing these recommendations, TSB Chairman Camille Thériault stated that: "Our investigators have brought to light a number of shortcomings related to the inspection and maintenance of timber bridges. The Board's recommendations are aimed at ensuring that these concerns are addressed expeditiously by both the railway and by Transport Canada."
On May 14, at approximately 1212 Pacific Standard Time, Canadian National eastward freight train No. 356 , traveling from Prince George to Edmonton derailed two locomotives and five cars loaded with lumber on a bridge at Mile 7.9 on the Fraser Subdivision near McBride. A fire ensued and the two crew members, who were in the cab of the lead locomotive, were fatally injured. The bridge, two locomotives, and five cars were destroyed.
Examination of the wreckage, post-accident interviews, and a review of inspection and maintenance documentation have revealed the presence of a number of shortcomings in CN's inspection and maintenance practices for timber bridges and with Transport Canada's compliance reviews. The ability of these systems to address latent deficiencies, such as the ones identified in this occurrence, are of particular concern.
"Although the investigation is still ongoing, Thériault explained, the Board is issuing these two specific Stand-Alone Recommendations in the interests of maintaining the safety of the traveling public and railway workers alike."
The recommendations state that:
- Canadian National verify the condition of its timber bridges and ensure their continued safety with effective inspection and maintenance programs.
- Transport Canada incorporate in its compliance reviews a comparison of railway working procedures and practices with railway inspection and maintenance records.
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
- Date modified: