National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public hearing on the rollover and fire of a cargo tank vehicle that occurred on Interstate 69 Southbound, Indianapolis, Indiana. The two-day hearing will begin at 9 a.m. on August 3, 2010, at the NTSB's Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C.
On Thursday, October 22, 2009, at 10:38 a.m., a 2006 International truck tractor in combination with a 11,600- gallon cargo tank semi-trailer carrying liquefied petroleum gas struck a guardrail while traveling south on Interstate 69 (I-69). The cargo tank rolled over the guardrail and slid on its right side into the bridge abutment and pillar of the Interstate 465 (I-465) southbound overpass. The tractor separated from the vehicle and rolled onto its right side and caught fire. The front of the cargo tank sustained a breach, resulting in the release of liquefied petroleum gas, which vaporized and ignited. The ensuing fires involved eight other vehicles on the I-69 semi-direct connection ramp to I-465 and the I-465 overpasses.
As a result of the rollover accident and subsequent fires, the driver of the cargo tank vehicle and a passenger vehicle driver on I-69 received serious injuries. The occupants of three vehicles on the I-465 overpass received minor injuries from the fires.
The hearing will be chaired by NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "The hearing is the Safety Board's opportunity to gather additional facts and information for the investigation of this accident," said Hersman. "Cargo tank vehicles account for 31 percent of all fatal commercial truck rollovers. Not only is the Safety Board concerned about this high fatality rate, but the significant additional danger to people and the environment that can result from the release of hazardous materials. In this particular case, the rollover resulted in significant structural damage to the highway and other vehicles."
The hearing will be structured as a series of topical panels on issues the investigative team is examining related to the accident. For each topic there will be an expert panel made up of witnesses, a technical panel consisting of Board staff, and a panel consisting of parties to the hearing who will hear witnesses testify on the following issues related to cargo tank vehicles:
The hearing will be webcast. An agenda and webcast details will be posted on the Board's website when available.
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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.