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BLET Safety Task Force dispatched to major accidents during May

CLEVELAND, June 10 — In May, the BLET National Division dispatched members of its Safety Task Force to the scene of three major incidents throughout the United States.

On May 18, Safety Task Force members Thomas Hebert, Division 312 (Boston), and Carlyle Smith, Division 482 (Washington, D.C.), were dispatched to Bridgeport, Conn., to investigate a raking collision between two Metro-North commuter trains. Currently, the active field investigation is closed as they continue to work off site to gather additional information and to formulate safety recommendations.

On May 25, STF members Randy Dumey, Division 595 (Chaffee, Mo.), and Bryan Aldridge, Division 78 (Louisville, Ky.), were dispatched to help investigate the collision of a BNSF train and a Union Pacific train at an interlocking at Chaffee, Mo. The active field investigative phase closed on May 28 but they continue to receive more documentation regarding the incident.

On May 28, STF members David Rose, Division 314 (Rocky Mount, N.C.), and Dan Lauzon, Division 57 (Boston), were dispatched to Rosedale, Md., to assist in the investigation of a grade crossing collision between a CSX train and a truck. The collision caused a derailment followed by a large fire and explosion. The on-site investigation concluded on June 1, but the STF investigators continue to receive information relating to the incident.

In all three cases, the BLET was granted Party Status by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to assist in the investigative process. The BLET Safety Task Force assists federal agencies in the investigation of rail accidents, helping to determine probable causes and making safety recommendations. The STF will study these accidents from the viewpoint of locomotive engineers and trainmen to help determine how the accidents occurred and how to prevent similar accidents from happening again.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce thanked all members of the Safety Task Force for their professionalism and hard work on behalf of the Brotherhood.

“Often times we must dispatch our members of the Safety Task Force to the scene of devastating and tragic accidents,” President Pierce said. “These Brothers and Sisters go above and beyond the call of duty when responding and they always represent our Brotherhood with the highest level of professionalism. I thank them for their hard work in helping to determine the root causes of such tragedies.”

Monday, June 10, 2013
bentley@ble-t.org

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