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Accident Report Detail

​Boston and Maine Corp., Single Diesel- Powered Passenger Car 563 Collision with Oxbow Transport Co Tank Truck

Executive Summary

At 12:10 a.m. on December 28, 1966, eastbound first-class passenger train No. 563 consisting of a single car diesel-powered passenger unit operated by the Boston and Maine Corporation, collided with a northbound motor tank truck owned and operated by the Oxbow Transport Corporation of Lexington, Massachusetts, stopped across the Second Street railroad-highway grade crossing at Everett, Massachusetts. The collision resulted in the death of 11 of a total of 28 passengers and 2 of the 3 train crew members, and other injuries and damage to property. The semitrailer of the tank truck containing 8,300 gallons of fuel oil ruptured on impact covering the forward end of the single railroad passenger car with the flammable oil. Low-order explosions and a rapid spread of flames immediately covered the forward section of the car. The fatalities were due to thermal burns and smoke inhalation, rather than from collision injuries. The truck driver had left the vehicle prior to the collision and was not injured.

Probable Cause

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the loss of air pressure in the brake systems for the tractor and trailer which resulted in an automatic application of the brakes that could not be released from the cab of the tractor, and therefore held the tractor trailer directly across the Boston and Maine track at the collision point.

The Board further determines that the cause of most of the deaths and injuries was not the impact of the collision, but the lack of emergency exits in the car, in addition to the inward-opening center rear door that became jammed in a closed position by persons attempting to escape.

Accident Location: Everett , MA    
Accident Date: 12/28/1966
Accident ID: 79932

Date Adopted: 12/28/1967
NTSB Number: Railroad / Highway Accident Report 1968 (Report Number unavailable)
NTIS Number: PB-190212

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