The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released the findings of its investigation into the fatal derailment near Woss, British Columbia in April 2017.
According to TSB, an unsuccessful coupling between rail cars caused eleven of the cars that had been loaded with logs to roll uncontrolled out of the Woss Reload Center, which is operated by Western Forest Products, Inc. The runaway cars collided with two on-track engineering equipment vehicles. Three of the employees that were working on the vehicles were killed and two others were seriously injured.
Investigators determined that although the derail functioned as intended initially, it was damaged by the cars and rendered ineffective for the remaining wheels.
Additionally, investigators determined the emergency procedures were not followed by the railway, the derail was on deteriorated softwood ties, and despite the derail being compliant with regulatory standards it was not installed or maintained to the manufacturer or industry standards.
Upon completing its investigation, TSB issued an advisory to the railway industry and regulators to use the visual verification method to ensure the couplings are secure.
Canada’s TSB reveals cause of fatal 2017 derailment in British Columbia