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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of Union Pacific (UP) freight train ZLAMN-16

Executive Summary

About 9:40 a.m., on October 16, 2004, eastbound Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight train ZLAMN-16 derailed 3 locomotives and 11 cars near Pico Rivera, California. Some of the derailed cars struck nearby residences. Small amounts of hazardous materials were released from transported cargo. An estimated 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel were released from the locomotive fuel tanks when they ruptured during the derailment. About 100 people were evacuated from the area. There were no injuries to area residents, the train crew, or emergency response personnel. At the time of the derailment, the sky was overcast. The wind was from the south at approximately 6 mph. The temperature was 66° F. The UP estimated the monetary damage at $2.7 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the derailment was the failure of a pair of insulated joint bars due to fatigue cracking. Contributing to the accident was the lack of an adequate on-the-ground inspection program for identifying cracks in rail joint bars before they grow to critical size.

Accident Location: Pico Rivera , CA    
Accident Date: 10/16/2004
Accident ID: DCA05FR002

Date Adopted: 5/31/2005
NTSB Number: RAB-05-02
NTIS Number:  

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