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Accident Report Detail

BNSF Railway Head-On Collision

Executive Summary

On June 28, 2016, at 8:21 a.m. central daylight time, eastbound BNSF Railway (BNSF) train S LACLPC1-26K (striking train) collided with BNSF train Q CHISBD6 27L (westbound train) at milepost (MP) 525.4 on the BNSF Panhandle Subdivision near Panhandle, Texas. The collision occurred about 0.5 mile east of the east switch of the Panhandle siding. A significant fire resulted from the collision. The locomotive engineer and conductor on the striking train and the conductor on the westbound train died in the accident. The three head-end locomotives and 10 intermodal cars of the striking train derailed. All five head-end locomotives and three intermodal cars of the westbound train derailed.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision was the failure of the striking train (S-LACLPC1-26K) crewmembers to comply with signal indications requiring them to slow and stop their train before signal 5261 due to (1) the engineer’s disengagement from operating, possibly due to fatigue arising from untreated obstructive sleep apnea, and insufficient sleep quality and quantity on the night preceding the collision, and (2) the conductor’s disengagement from operating, possibly due to the effects of two sedating medications. A functional positive train control system would have prevented the collision.

Accident Location: Panhandle , TX    
Accident Date: 6/28/2016
Accident ID: DCA16FR008

Date Adopted: 6/11/2019
NTSB Number: RAB-19-02
NTIS Number:  

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