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Accident Report Detail

​Collision of a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Commuter Train with a Gasoline Truck

Executive Summary

About 9:45 a.m., e.s.t., on January 2, 1982, eastbound Southeastern Pennsylvania transportation Authority (SEPTA) passenger train No. 114, consisting of a single rail diesel self-propelled passenger car (RDC), struck a southbound Atlantic Richfield Company (ARGO) tractor/cargo-tank semitrailer (truck) carrying gasoline at the Second Street Pike crossing at Southampton, Pennsylvania. The tractor and trailer overturned, erupted in fire, and crushed the rear of a automobile standing south of the crossing in the northbound lane of Second Street Pike. Five persons sustained minor injuries. The train operator sustained second and third degree burns over 80 percent of his body and died 2 weeks later as a result of his injuries. Damage was estimated at $452,900.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was that the rail diesel car did not maintain a constant shunt of the track circuit which resulted in the failure of the automatic crossing warning device to indicate to highway traffic the approach of the train.

Accident Location: Southampton , PA    
Accident Date: 1/2/1982
Accident ID: NYC82AR020

Date Adopted: 10/19/1982
NTSB Number: RHR-82-03
NTIS Number: PB82-917005

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