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Accident Report Detail

​Illinois Central Railroad Company, Train No. 1, Collision with Gasoline Tank Truck at South Second Street Grade Crossing

Executive Summary

About 9:55 a.m., on January 24, 1970, Illinois Central Railroad southbound passenger train No. 1, moving at a speed of 79 miles per hour on track No. 1, struck a motortruck loaded with gasoline on the South Second street crossing in Loda, Illinois. The tank of the truck was split open, spilling the gasoline which exploded and caught fire. The burning gasoline covered the exterior of the locomotive unit and entered the control compartment through the nose door, damaged nose, and other openings.

Three employees of the railroad, who were occupying the control compartment of the lead locomotive unit at the time of the accident, and the driver of the motortruck received fatal injuries from the burning gasoline.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was that the operator drove the gasoline-laden truck, without stopping, onto the tracks immediately in front of the approaching train, while the crossing warning device was indicating the train's approach.

The cause of the fatalities to engine crewmembers and the official was the entrance of burning gasoline into the control compartment and engine compartments which burned the occupants of the control compartment, made escape into the engine compartment useless, and forced the occupants to jump from the control compartment while the train was still moving at a speed too high to insure survival.

Accident Location: Loda , IL    
Accident Date: 1/24/1970
Accident ID: 80298

Date Adopted: 7/8/1971
NTSB Number: RHR-71-01
NTIS Number: PB-202869

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