On Sunday, 9 January, the commission of inquiry appointed by the Norwegian National Rail Administration (JBV) delivered its provisional report on the train crash that took place on the Røros line on 4 January, resulting in the loss of 19 lives. In its report, the commission states that it finds it probable that the primary cause of the accident was that train 2369 (the northward-bound train) passed the main exit signal at Rudstad station while this showed the stop signal (red light).
Group chief executive of Norwegian State Railways (NSB), Osmund Ueland, warns strongly against speculation as to guilt, out of consideration for the relatives and due to the fact that the accident is still the subject of police investigation.
NSB BA's own commission of inquiry into the accident has not come far enough in its work to state its findings or conclusion. NSB is still carrying out its investigations and will therefore not be able to comment on the details in JBV's report at present. A public commission of inquiry has also been appointed and has started investigations. The work of charting the circumstances surrounding the accident will therefore continue to take some time.
"I'm now concerned about all the necessary resources in NSB being used to find out as much as possible about the facts and the reasons behind the accident. Through this, I'll help make sure that we do everything in our power to prevent such a tragic accident happening again," says Ueland.
"NSB will continue to give priority to the work of following up the injured, the relatives and our own employees who are directly or indirectly affected. We are still in the midst of a critical and difficult situation."
The JBV commission of inquiry into the accident is led by Ove Skovdahl, JBV's vice president for traffic safety. Commissions of inquiry into accidents usually present their reports 4-8 weeks after mishaps or accidents have taken place. Due to the extent of this accident, the commission has chosen to present a provisional accident report early on, and to make this available to the public.
The report concludes that no malfunction of the technical facilities or breach of technical regulations or traffic safety rules has been found, apart from the fact that one of the trains probably went past a stop signal. The commission of inquiry has made use of all known methods to test the technical facilities.
The commission also states:
"The commission of inquiry into the accident cannot, at the present time, determine the reason for the train passing the signal, and will continue to carry out a more in-depth analysis in order to discover the reasons behind this, if possible."
Source: NSB (Norwegian State Railways)
file last updated: Monday, 10-Jan-2000 21:15:39 EST
Copyright © David Fry 1999