SPECIAL INVESTIGATION REPORT - PHOSPHORUS TRICHLORIDE RELEASE IN BOSTON AND MAINE YARD 8 DURING SWITCHING OPERATIONS, SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS, APRIL 3, 1980

Observations of emergency response activities following an April 3, 1980, rail yard accident in Somerville, Massachusetts, prompted the Safety Board to conduct this special investigation of the technical support provided to the local community during the attempted control and removal of spilled hazardous material. The Safety Board investigated the actions taken following release of phosphorus trichloride by local safety officials, the carrier, the Boston and Maine Corporation, and the shipper, the Monsanto Industrial Chemical Company, to determine why the actions were taken and what effects these actions had on the eventual outcome of the emergency. These actions were then analyzed to determine the effectiveness of current spill-control procedures in reducing losses following release of hazardous materials. The analysis disclosed that technical advice to local officials and emergency action guidelines need to be improved. Difficulties observed at Somerville indicate that some of the advice and emergency guides provided to emergency response personnel by DOT, carriers, and shippers continues to be inadequate, inconsistent, and confusing. The current guides and procedure for providing advice should be reviewed where necessary, and steps taken to assure that lessons learned from handling actual emergencies be adopted for future use.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Technology, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20594
  • Publication Date: 1981-2-26

Media Info

  • Pagination: 50 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00338064
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-HZM-81-1
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1981 12:00AM