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NTSB TO CONVENE HEARING ON 2012 HEAD-ON TRAIN CRASH IN OKLAHOMA

February 12, 2013

Smoke and fire engulf two trains that collided June 24 near Goodwell. Three men were killed in the accident. (Staff File Photo/Trudy Hart)

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board is convening an investigative hearing to discuss and gather additional factual information on the ongoing investigation of the head-on collision of two Union Pacific trains near Goodwell, Oklahoma.

On June 24, 2012, at about 10:00 a.m., an eastbound and a westbound UP freight train collided while operating on a straight track near Goodwell. As a result of the crash, three of the four crewmembers aboard the two trains were fatally injured. The fourth crewmember jumped from the locomotive prior to the collision and survived with no major injuries. Fuel tanks from the derailed locomotives were ruptured and created a diesel-fed fire. Damages were estimated at $14.79 million.

Although this investigation is still ongoing, factual information indicates that if positive train control had been in use, the safety technology designed to supplement the human operation of trains, it could have prevented the collision. The Board will also examine UP’s management of human error in its operations as well as system safety programs.

Parties to the investigation include: the FRA, Union Pacific Railroad, United Transportation Union and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen.

The investigative hearing, being held in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, DC, will begin at 9:00 a.m. and is open to the public.

Analysis of the accident, along with conclusions and a determination of probable cause, will be determined when the investigation is completed and approved by the NTSB Members.

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