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Aviation incidents down, marine incidents up: TSB

Railway transportation data for 2018 shows mixed results
| www.cos-mag.com

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has released its preliminary transportation occurrence statistics for 2018.

Air transportation data for 2018 shows some encouraging trends. The 201 aviation accidents were reported to the TSB in 2018 is substantially lower than the five-year average of 249. The TSB includes fatalities, serious injuries and aircraft structural failure in its “accidents” data. There were 860 aviation incidents reported to the TSB in 2018. This number represents a substantial decrease compared to the previous year (939) but is still higher than the five-year average of 797.

There were 283 marine accidents reported to the TSB in 2018, just above the 2017 total of 279 and below the five-year average of 287. Although the number of fishing vessels involved in accidents was lower than the previous year, 12 of the 15 fatal marine accidents and 17 of the 22 marine fatalities were related to the commercial fishing industry. The TSB said more needs to be done to improve safety in this industry, and commercial fishing safety will remain on the TSB Watchlist. Some 936 marine incidents were reported in 2018. This number represents a six per cent increase from 2017 and a 22 per cent increase from the five-year average of 768.

Railway transportation data for 2018 shows mixed results across the mode. Overall, 1,170 railway accidents were reported in 2018, a seven per cent increase over 2017 and a 13 per cent increase from the five-year average of 1,035. Most of the increase relates to non-main-track derailments of five or fewer cars. There were 57 rail-related fatalities reported in 2018, 19 fewer than the previous year and well below the five-year average of 74. Among all railway accidents in 2018, 125 involved dangerous goods. This number was up from 115 in 2017, but down slightly from the five-year average of 126. Six accidents in 2018 resulted in a dangerous goods release. There were 285 railway incidents reported in 2018, a 21 per cent increase from 2017 (235), but a seven per cent decrease from the five-year average (308).

The single reported pipeline accident in 2018 was a 36-inch sweet natural gas pipeline rupture and fire about 13 kilometres northeast of Prince George, B.C. on Oct. 9. There were no injuries.

This news brief originally appeared in the June/July 2019 issue of COS. 

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