The root causes of a train accident: Lac-mégantic rail disaster

Öztürk, İbrahim
GÜNER, Gizem
Oil transportation with trains is one of the most important and dangerous areas of transportation. Many agents play different roles throughout the route, indicating different responsibilities in case of an accident. The analysis of transportation accidents is important to determine the roles of these agents and their strengths and weaknesses. The root causes analysis (RCA) is one of the methods used to understand the story of the accident and improve safety concerns. In the present study, the Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster was analyzed by using different RCA methods and considering organizational safety culture. The accident happened in the 6th July 2013 and resulted in 47 deaths and destruction of 40 buildings and 53 vehicles. By using the detailed reports about the accidents and using different methods of RCA, the contributory factors of the accidents were identified. In general, it has been found that human factors, organizational safety culture, and engineering related factors were active throughout the different stages of the accident. The chronology and timeline of the accident were used to determine possible barriers and underlying causes. Lastly, fishbone diagram was constructed to represent the active factors throughout the accident. In addition to the RCA, the organizational safety culture of the company was also interpreted based on the accident information and possible root causes. Overall, the interpretation of the root causes of these accidents is important for the development of safe transportation.
Citation Formats
İ. Öztürk, G. GÜNER, and E. TÜMER, “The root causes of a train accident: Lac-mégantic rail disaster,” 2018, vol. 823, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: