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Accident Report Detail

Derailment, Burlington Northern Santa Fe

Executive Summary

On January 11, 1997, at approximately 6:00 a.m., mountain standard time, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad freight train, Extra 8520 West, derailed 22 cars at milepost (MP) 326.5. The crew was uninjured. Estimated damages were $72,800.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the rail breaking as a result of an internal defect referred to as a detail fracture. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the inability of the ultrasonic rail detection equipment to readily identify internal defects in rail with surface defects.

Accident Location: Thermopolis , WY    
Accident Date: 1/11/1997
Accident ID: LAX97FR003

Date Adopted: 8/18/1998
NTSB Number: RAB-98-16
NTIS Number:  

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