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NTSB issues preliminary report on 2020 KCS fatality in Tupelo, Mississippi

(Source: National Transportation Safety Board press release, February 20, 2021)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On December 23, 2020, about 6:55 a.m. local time, the conductor of Kansas City Southern (KCS) train L-CO392-22 was struck by the train as it was operating in a reverse direction in the Tupelo Rail Yard in Tupelo, Mississippi. He died later that day in a nearby hospital. The accident occurred on Yard Lead Track 1 at milepost 278.0, which is located on KCS’s Artesia Subdivision. The train consisted of 3 locomotives and 22 railcars. At the time of the accident, the temperature was 44° F, and the wind was light from the south.

The crew was in the process of switching railcars at the time of the accident in preparation for coupling them. The conductor was riding on a US Department of Transportation-111 tank car at the lead end of reversing train L-CO392-22 to protect the train’s reverse movement for the train coupling operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation into this accident is ongoing and will be focusing on KCS’s safety rules pertaining to riding on tank cars. No parties were established; however, KCS and the Federal Railroad Administration are cooperating with the NTSB in the investigation.

Monday, February 22, 2021

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