The Everett, Massachusetts train crash was a railway accident that occurred on December 28, 1966, when a train struck a stalled tank truck, killing 13 people.
|Date||December 28, 1966|
At 12:10 am, a Boston and Maine Railroad Buddliner traveling from Boston to Rockport struck a stalled tank truck carrying 7,000 gallons of oil at the railroad crossing on 2nd Street in Everett, Massachusetts. The Buddliner's cars quickly became engulfed in flames. Its doors jammed on impact and rescuers were forced to break windows to free passengers. 12 people died from burns or smoke inhalation and another 22 were injured. A thirteenth victim died over a month later.
The Interstate Commerce Commission and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities held joint hearings into the collision. ICC examiner Robert Boyce believed that the Buddliner's doors were responsible for many of the deaths in the accident, stating "I believe more people would have escaped from the train had the door opened outward instead of inward". Following the hearings, the ICC's enforcement division recommended that:
- Emergency exits be required on all passenger trains
- Trains be required to reduce speed in congested areas, railroad passenger cars be made of stronger material and have doors that open outward instead of inward
- All railroad passenger cars be equipped with emergency kits at both ends of the car
- Large motor vehicles and vehicles carrying hazardous materials use designated railroad crossings
- All motor vehicles with parking and emergency brakes have a way for the driver to release these brakes if they are applied automatically
- Steps be taken to develop a system to warn trains when vehicles have become stalled on the roadway
- A means be provided to operate the block signal if a motor vehicles becomes disabled on the tracks
- The government implement a program to educate commercial drivers on what to do if they become stalled at a crossing.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities blamed the crash on a mechanical defect in the truck's copper right-angle adapter, which became separated, causing the brakes to lose air pressure and triggering the automatic emergency brakes. This issue would not have been detected unless the entire brake system was taken apart. As a result of the investigation, the DPU lowered the speed limit at grade crossings in Everett and Chelsea from 60 mph for passenger trains and 40 mph for freight trains to 35 mph and ordered a reconstruction of the 2nd Street crossing.
The National Transportation Safety Board blamed a loss of air pressure in the truck's brakes for the accident, but found that the truck's brakes complied with regulations. The NTSB's report blamed the deaths on a lack of emergency exits, darkness caused by the failure of the car's lighting system, and the jamming of the inward opening car door.
- Curran, Lawrence; Klarfeld, Jonathan (December 28, 1966). "12 Die in Everett Train-Truck Crash". The Boston Globe.
- "Everett Rail Crash Claims 13th Victim". The Boston Daily Globe. February 6, 1967.
- Murphy, Jeremiah (January 14, 1967). "Prober Blames Train's Doors". The Boston Globe.
- Murphy, Jeremiah (January 21, 1967). "ICC Asks Changes In Rail Car Design". The Boston Globe.
- "Truck Part Blamed in Crash With Train". The Boston Globe. June 28, 1967.
- Hanron, Robert (March 17, 1967). "DPU Slows B&M Near Crash Sites". The Boston Globe.
- Stewart, Richard (March 7, 1968). "RR Crash Blamed on Air Loss". The Boston Globe.