NTSB Releases Final Graniteville Report

By: Erich Spivey
By: Erich Spivey

November 29, 2005
Some new pictures you’ve never seen before of the first moments after January’s deadly chlorine leak in Graniteville. This as the government blames the wreck on a catastrophic failure of human performance. News 12 has the details.

This newly-released video shows the closest view of the train crash minutes after it happened. You can actually see the orange-ish chlorine leaking out of a tanker and into Graniteville. This video is part of the NTSB’s board meeting that named a probable cause for the crash.

“Would you characterize this as a catastrophic failure of human performance that created the beginnings of this horrible accident?” said Mark Rosenker, Acting Chairman, NTSB.

“No doubt about it. This was a catastrophic failure of human performance,” said Rick Narvell, NTSB.

Among the recommendations, put tankers at the rear of the trains, where they’re less likely to rupture in an accident. Also, require trains to slow down near switches. Investigators have determined that even if the moving train saw the switch out of place, they didn’t have enough time to stop.

Board members say they’ll fight to make these recommendations turn into rules for all railroad companies.

“I know we have observing this today families who lost loved ones and our hearts and prayers continue to go out to them for the loss they suffered,” Rosenker said.

As the official investigation ends, the healing continues.

Safety board members also expressed hope that someday, tank cars will be built strong enough to survive even the worst of crashes. You’ll recall that Norfolk Southern fired the three-man crew that NTSB now officially says is at fault. Norfolk Southern says they are reviewing the board’s recommendations.


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