Its investigation of a propane tanker accident has led the National Transportation Safety Board to identify certain safety issues that while unrelated to the probable cause of the single-vehicle crash, nonetheless “pose a substantial risk to the driving public,” according to NTSB.
The NTSB report on the March 11, 2016, crash, issued on Jan. 30, revealed issues involving the loading of the 10,500-gallon propane tank semitrailer, the inspection and testing of the tank, and the qualification and training of cargo tank inspectors.
The crash, near Stroud, Alabama, seriously injured the truck driver. NTSB ruled that the trucker "overcorrected after encroaching into the opposing traffic lane, which, in part because of excessive speed, led to the loss of vehicle control that preceded the crash.
The semitrailer separated from the tractor and the tank subsequently struck a rock, which breached the tank, resulting in a fire.
NTSB said the risk presented by the issues identified in its investigation prompted it to issue six safety recommendations:
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration received two safety recommendations to enhance enforcement of cargo tank requalification procedures and to work with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to incorporate, by reference into the Hazardous Materials Regulations, inspector training requirements of industry cargo tank inspection code.
- The NTSB issued three safety recommendations to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, including one to eliminate a “grandfather provision” for less qualified inspectors, to revise the definition of registered inspector, and to ensure all persons certified to inspect cargo tanks are qualified and competent, and to implement regulations that provide for suspension and revocation of cargo tank inspector registrations.
- One safety recommendation was issued to Enterprise Propane terminals and Storage LLC, the facility at which the tanker was loaded, to develop and implement an oversight procedure at its liquefied petroleum gas loading facilities.
NTSB noted that “ensuring the safe shipment of hazardous materials is an issue area” on its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.