NTSB Files Report on Fiery 2009 Train Derailment

June 19 crash killed one woman, an unborn child and injured seven others

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    Firefighters respond to a train derailment and fire Friday, June 19, 2009 in Rockford.

    Canadian National Railway knew about a washout of a crossing gate for about an hour but failed to notify an oncoming train and prevent a fiery 2009 train derailment near Rockford , the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.

    "There were missteps and miscommunications, procedures not followed and poor decisions,"  NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a written statement."There were multiple points where this  catastrophe could have been averted, but it was not."

    The June 19 crash killed one woman, an unborn child and injured seven others.

    Contributing to the derailment, the NTSB said, was CN's failure to work with Winnebago County to develop a comprehensive storm water  management design to address previous washouts in 2006 and  2007 and the company's failure to issue a flash-flood warning to the train crew.

    The NTSB also pointed to flaws in the tank cars, which made them susceptible to "damage and catastrophic loss of hazardous materials," according to the report.

    CN last fall agreed to pay a $36 million settlement to Jose and Adriana Tellez, who filed a lawsuit after the crash. Tellez' wife and unborn grandchild were killed.