|Two years after the toxic spill in Paulsboro, the NTSB’s final investigation report determines that the crew was met with a red signal on the bridge. They radioed to dispatch for the moveable bridge to be locked. The NTSB report says the conductor had no formal training before he inspected the bridge and “erroneously” concluded it was locked. The dispatcher gave the train permission to pass. Moments later, half the train was off the rails.|
The NTSB determined the key cause of the derailment to be two things: Conrail “allowing the train to pass the red signal” with rail locks “not fully engaged” and a lack of proper training that would have “prepared the train crew to examine the bridge lock.”
The NTSB found contributing factors to the accident included a “lack of a comprehensive safety management program that would have identified and mitigated risks associated with the continued operation of the bridge despite multiple bridge malfunctions of increasing frequency” and “the failure of the incident commander to implement” “hazardous materials response protocols”.
Gary Stevenson was the deputy fire chief the day the disaster happened right in his backyard.
“We need to do things different the next time this happens. I hope all of us responders have learned from that incident. So we can apply it and spread that knowledge out to other fire departments within the state,”...