NEWS New details released in Bessemer rail accident that killed train conductor trainee

New details released in Bessemer rail accident that killed train conductor trainee

BESEMER, Ala. (WIAT) – New details have been released regarding the December 13 death of a Norfolk Southern employee.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on the death of a train conductor and the injury of another conductor when a locomotive struck steel protruding from a train parked on the tracks near Bessemer.

Details of the report can be read in full below:

On December 13, 2022, at approximately 12:01 am local time, the lead locomotive of the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) freight train A55-12 (A55) struck a section of steel, killing a trainee conductor and another conductor An angle iron protruding from a pod car on NS Freight Train 340-12, which was parked on the adjacent main track in Bessemer, Alabama. [1] The 70-car NS northbound train A55 approaches a stationary crane SSEX 100843 traveling at approximately 55 mph on main track 2, a recent addition to NS freight trains on adjacent main track 1 The 340-12 is part of the 21-car pickup truck. [2] (See photo.) The angle iron originally welded to the upper right corner of the gondola broke and came loose, contaminating the No. 2 main track at Milestone 153.3. [3] As the lead locomotive approached the cable car, it collided with an angle iron polluting main track 2. The angle iron then pierced the locomotive’s left front door window, continued into the cab, and hit two wires. The NS trainee commander was killed and the commander was seriously wounded. Visibility was low at the time of the accident, with cloudy skies and a temperature of 50°F. According to the NTSB, NS estimated damages at $1,300.00.

[1] (a) An angle iron is a length of metal whose two sides meet at 90 degrees to form an L shape. The section of angle iron involved in this accident was 16 feet 7.75 inches long, 0.5 inches thick, and 5 inches high on sides. (b) A gondola is an open railway wagon.

[2] A pickup is when a rail car is added to a train en route to a destination. Metal fabrication company US Pipe recently offloaded metal scrap from the SSEX 100843 cable car at its Bessemer facility and put it back into service on train NS 340-12 for transport to another destination.

[3] Fouling the track means placing an individual or equipment so close to the track that the individual or equipment could be hit by a moving train or equipment on the track, or in any event within 4 feet of the field near the runway side.

of [4] See Security Bulletin 2022-01.pdf.

National Transportation Safety Board

(Courtesy: National Transportation Safety Board)

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