Oxnard, Califórnia - morreu o maquinista do comboio suburbano que em fevereiro de 2015 embateu num pequeno camião com reboque, parado na via. O condutor foi enganado pela deficiente topografia do local e, numa passagem de nível muito próxima de um entroncamento de estradas, virou para a via férrea.
Mais uma vez se verifica a inconformidade da existencia de passagens de nível em vias férreas de serviço suburbano. O acidente poderia ter tido consequencias piores se as carruagens não tivessem sido construidas com zonas de deformação. No entanto, mantem-se o mau hábito nos USA de formar comboios em que a locomotiva, colovada na traseira, empurra as carruagens, em vez de as puxar.
|notar a precariedade da passagem de nível; o acidente ocorreu cerca das 6 horas da manhã|
Cópia de um artigo referindo a perigosidade desta passagem de nível:
Metrolink Train Headed to Los Angeles Crashes Into Truck, Injuring Dozens
By NOAH SMITH and JACK HEALYFEB. 24, 2015
The wreck of a Metrolink passenger train that derailed Tuesday in Oxnard, Calif. Three cars tumbled onto their sides, interrupting train service for thousands of passengers. Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
OXNARD, Calif. — Rail cars skidded onto their sides, a fireball lit up the dark, and nearly 30 people were injured early Tuesday when a commuter train slammed into a truck that had turned onto the railroad tracks and gotten stuck here about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The 5:45 a.m. crash interrupted train service for thousands of passengers and transformed a morning commute to Los Angeles into a scene of chaos at a hazardous rail crossing along strawberry fields and low-slung office parks and industrial supply businesses. The intersection was the scene of a fatal collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a car seven months ago.
In the accident on Tuesday, Metrolink passengers were launched from their seats as the train struck the truck and several cars derailed. Twenty-eight people were taken to hospitals, with broken bones and head, neck and back injuries, the authorities said. Four people were critically injured, including the train’s engineer, whom the authorities credited with quickly pulling the emergency brake and slowing the train after he spotted the truck sitting on the tracks.
When rescue crews arrived minutes later, they found three of the Metrolink cars on their sides and the truck engulfed in flames.
At an afternoon news conference, officials said they did not know why the truck’s driver, a 54-year-old man from Arizona, had steered onto the tracks. Jason Benites, Oxnard’s assistant police chief, said an officer had found the driver about a mile and a half away, apparently disoriented and unsettled. He was taken to a hospital for observation and was said to be cooperating with the authorities.
The police later said the driver had been arrested on a felony hit-and-run charge.
The crash occurred at one of the potentiallydangerous crossings in California, according to an accident prediction value generated by the Federal Railroad Administration. Of the 5,858 public crossings in the state, the crossing here at Rice Avenue and Fifth Street — an intersection often filled with produce trucks and agricultural equipment — has the eighth-highest accident prediction value. Only 52 public crossings in the nation are listed with a higher accident prediction value.
The metric takes into account certain physical characteristics of crossings and recent accidents, though it is not a perfect measurement of danger. It does not account for other factors, like topography and traffic congestion.
There have been 13 crashes involving trains and pedestrians or vehicles at this crossing since 1976, according to Federal Railroad Administration records. In June 2014, two people in an Infiniti G35 were killed at the crossing when they failed to stop at the lowered crossing arms and were struck by an Amtrak train moving at 65 miles per hour. None of the train’s passengers were hurt in that accident.
Patricia Villafana, whose son Joel Arias was driving the car in the fatal 2014 crash, said she is haunted now when she is stopped at the crossing and watches trains rushing past. “It’s very difficult,” she said. “Every time I drive by there, the accident comes to my mind.”
Despite the statistics, Oxnard residents said Tuesday that they believed the intersection was no more dangerous than any other surface crossings where drivers must cross train tracks. Jerry Gomez said a friend’s car had recently been clipped by a train and the friend hurt while crossing the tracks at a different intersection.
“I notice that people here do try to beat the train more than other places,” said Dan Fuller, a resident of the neighboring town of Camarillo who works in the nearby office park. “Don’t know why, but I’ve definitely seen people do it a lot.”
As the sun rose Tuesday, medics were still treating passengers on color-coded red and yellow tarps along the road. Firefighters doused the smoldering hulk of the truck.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was dispatching a team to conduct an investigation.
In addition to a fast response by the train’s crew, the authorities credited new safety technology on the trains for helping to mitigate the accident’s toll. Keith Millhouse, a member of the Metrolink board of directors, said new passenger cars — which have “crush zones” on their ends — appeared to have performed well in absorbing the impact of the collision.
“Without these safety features, I can speculate that the incident would have been far more significant,” Mr. Millhouse said.
Noah Smith reported from Oxnard, and Jack Healy from Los Angeles. Russ Buettner contributed reporting from New York.
4 acidentes com descarrilamento de vagões-tanque com petróleo crude originário de camadas de xisto ou de areias betuminosas, em transito para refinarias - As suas características de inflamabilidade são mais graves do que no petróleo normal (presença de gás butano). Alguns dos vagões obedecem a normas mais rígidas do que as dos vagões do acidente de Lac Megantic (em que morreram 42 pessoas na povoação atingida), o que sugere que o transporte deste crude deveria ser feito por pipelines, encarecendo o produto final, obviamente. Pode então afirmar-se, salvo melhor opinião, que o preço do petróleo é artificialmente mantido baixo, pelo que não nos devemos admirar, comparativamente, que o preço do kWh com origem nas eólicas seja tão elevado (o que não invalida o objetivo de cortar nas "rendas" dos seus promotores, obviamente). Estes comboios tinham cerca de 100 vagões cada (comprimento talvez excessivo), descarrilando cerca de 20 em cada caso, caindo alguns em cursos de água.
É necessário rever as normas de segurança nesta área de transportes-energia.
|14 de fevereiro, Gogama, North Ontario, Canadá descarrilamento e incendio de petróleo crude|
|16 de fevereiro de 2015, Mount Carbon, West Virginia, USA, descarrilamento e incendio de crude|
|5 de março de 2015, Galena, Illinois, USA, descarrilamento e incendio de crude|
|7 de março de 2015, Gogama, a cerca de 23 km de distancia do acidente de 14 de fevereiro; descarrilamento e incendio de crude; danos graves numa ponte ferroviária|
Cópia de um artigo sobre a precariedade do transporte de crude com origem nas camadas de xisto ou das areias betuminosas (notar que, sem prejuízo de melhorar as condições de segurança dos vagões-tanque, a tónica deveria estar na melhoria das condições de segurança da circulação ferroviária e na transferencia do transporte para os pipeline (de vida útil curta, dado o previsivel esgoamento das reservas petroliferas):