NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


NTSB DETERMINES LACK OF SAFE PROCEDURES AS CAUSE OF FEBRUARY 18, 1999 RUPTURE OF RAILROAD TANK CAR NEAR CLYMERS, INDIANA

February 21, 2001

Washington, D.C. -- The National Transportation Safety Board today determined that failure of Essroc Cement Corporation and CP Recycling of Indiana management to develop safe procedures for offloading toluene diisocyanate (TDI) matter wastes led to the rupture of a railroad tank car at the Essroc plant near Clymers, Indiana. The accident occurred after repeated efforts had been made to steam heat and offload the tank car. There were no resulting fatalities or injuries; however, damage estimates were approximately $8.2 million. Essroc intended to transfer the material, about 161,700 pounds, to the plant's kilns to be burned as fuel. On February 18, 1999, the tank car sustained a sudden and catastrophic rupture that propelled the tank approximately 750 feet across the plant, causing fires in several areas.

In the report the Board concluded that Essroc Cement Corporation and CP Recycling of Indiana failed to develop and implement appropriate heating and offloading procedures for the TDI matter wastes at the Essroc plant. The lack of formal procedures resulted in the use of unsafe offloading practices at the plant. In a further finding the Board noted that the U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations do not require the development and implementation of comprehensive, written loading and unloading procedures for hazardous materials.

The Board recommended that Essroc Cement Corporation, CP Recycling, Inc., the Olin Corporation and the Lyondell Chemical Company work with producers and end-users of hazardous materials to create written procedures for the loading or offloading of any of these materials from a rail-way tank car, highway cargo tank or other vessels.

The Board's final report may be accessed on the NTSB's website at www.ntsb.gov in several weeks. In the interim an abstract containing a complete listing of the report's conclusions and recommendations is available on our website's (www.ntsb.gov) News and Events page. Printed copies of the report may be purchased later this spring from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) (800) 553-NTIS.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.