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Human error & unreliable safety system caused Indian Pacific smash

  : Friday, October 29, 1999
The report of an independent inquiry into a collision between the 'Indian Pacific' passenger train and a
Indian Pacific

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stationary freight train injuring 45 people was caused by a combination of human error and unreliable safety systems and procedures.

The low-speed collision happened on 18 August 1999 at Zanthus 200 kilometres from Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia. The 'Indian Pacific' was wrongly diverted from the mainline onto a passing loop on which a freight train was standing.

The inquiry found that freight train driver had not followed correct procedures and that the safety system in place on the line "was not tolerant to human error". The report also stated that "operating procedures could be improved and defence barriers can be applied to prevent a recurrence of the incident".

Web sources:
Human error blamed for train crash
ABC News 29 Oct 99
Press Release - National Rail Track Corporation Ltd


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This file last updated: Saturday, 27-Nov-1999 20:37:08 EST
Copyright © David Fry 1999

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