The report into the derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals at Ferryhill in 1975.
This document was published on 23rd August 1976 by Department of the Environment.
It was written by Lieut. Col. A. G. Townsend-Rose.
This item is linked to the Accident at Ferryhill on 9th December 1975
The original document format was Stapled Book, and comprised 21 pages.
This document was kindly sourced from Stuart Johnson and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 25th September 2006.
This document is Crown Copyright, and is subject to the terms governing the reproduction of crown copyright material. Depending on the status and age of the original document, you may need an OPSI click-use license if you wish to reproduce this material, and other restrictions may apply. Please see this explanation for further details.
"The first wagon to be derailed was the rearmost of five unladen tank wagons of a special design for the conveyance of hydrocyanic acid forming part of a Haverton Hill (Billingham) to Grangemouth freight train. The wagon was first derailed on plain track some If miles south of Bishop Middleham Signal Box on the Up Ferryhill line and continued for a further 3,' miles until, at a trailing connection at Ferryhill South Junction, it was thrown onto its side and parted from. and derailed, the tank wagon ahead of it. Most OF the train in rear also became derailed at the damaged connection.
The guard immediately alerted the signalman. and the fire services and police were called by the Newcastle Divisional Control of British Railways at 09.03 and 09.06 respectively; both messages included a warning that the derailed wagon contained hydrocyanic acid. The Fire Services arrived at 09.17 and the police at 09.20. All persons were kept clear until a special team from Imperial Chemical Industries at Haverton Hill, who had first been warned by the Fire Services Control at 09.08, arrived at 10.00. In the meantime, following a short inspection by firemen wearing breathing apparatus and protective clothing, and in consultation with the senior fire officcr present, the police had decided to evacuate the occupants of houses to the west of the lines to a safe distance from the tank wagon.
On the arrival of the specialist team from Haverton Hill the tank was found to be intact and normal recovery operations proceeded. The adjacent lines, none of which had been obstructed, were re-opened to traffic at 10.15 and the residents were permitted to return to their houses. Three railway personnel, including the driver and guard of the train concerned, complained of feeling unwell and-were taken to hospital suffering from shock, being detained overnight for observation."
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