Investigation reveals mistake in oil labeling in Quebec train crash

Sept. 20, 2013

The investigation into the train crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, has revealed that the crude oil transported in the railcars had a lower flash point than indicated on documents, meaning that it was actually more volatile than could be expected.

The investigation into the train crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, has revealed that the crude oil transported in the railcars had a lower flash point than indicated on documents, meaning that it was actually more volatile than could be expected, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada has announced.

Mislabeling the crude as a less flammable substance may not have been the direct cause of the disaster but it raises further questions regarding the effectiveness of crude transportation oversight in Canada, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it had sent a letter to regulators in Canada and the United States, calling for an immediate revision of labeling procedures for shipping hazardous materials. The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has already started looking into proposals that could improve rail safety by making tank cars more puncture-resistant.

RELATED: Crude oil train explosion kills 60 in Quebec

Investigators think that because of the mislabeling error, crude oil may have been carried by railcars that did not meet the requirements for safe shipment. Although they have not completed their investigation, they believe that the mistake explains why the derailed train exploded. Crude oil typically ignites at very high temperatures and would not explode in an incident like the one in Lac-Megantic, the Wall Street Journal noted.

According to Donald Ross, leader of the Canadian investigation team, tests to identify the actual product carried by the train from North Dakota to the east coast of Canada will continue.
 

Sponsored Recommendations

2024 Manufacturing Trends — Unpacking AI, Workforce, and Cybersecurity

The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...

State of Smart Manufacturing Report Series

The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...

Trying to Keep Pace with Supply Chain Disruption?

CPG manufacturers are struggling to keep up with supply chain disruptions. Learn how to build more resilient operations –and reduce demand shock.

Mitigating Cybersecurity Threats – Step-by-Step

Distributor Wesco adds services focused on identifying and solving OT network and security vulnerabilities in critical manufacturing.