Railroad Accident Brief

Iowa Interstate Railroad Train Derailment and Subsequent Hazardous Materials Release and Fire

Tiskilwa, Illinois
October 7, 2011

NTSB Number: RAB-13-02
Adopted: August 14, 2013
PDF

Accident Summary

On October 7, 2011, at 2:14 a.m. central daylight time, 26 cars in eastbound Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) train RI-BI-06 derailed in Tiskilwa, Illinois. Ten of the derailed cars contained ethanol, a hazardous material; ethanol released from the damaged tank cars ignited and burned. Property damage was estimated to be $1.6 million. The engineer and the conductor were not injured. No emergency responders were injured during the fire suppression and cleanup efforts.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was a broken rail. Contributing to the large quantity of hazardous materials released was inadequate puncture resistance of the tank heads and shells of the DOT-111A-100W1 general service tank cars and the failure of draft sill attachments.