Safety Rules Not Followed in Newington, NH, Train Accident – NTSB
An NTSB investigation into the death of a conductor on a Pan Am Railways train in Newington in May 2021 concluded that the 61-year-old man did not follow safety rules.
Dale Jenkins of Seabrook died when he became caught between two cars on the SubCom industrial tracks at about 2:15 p.m. The NTSB said in its preliminary report that two of the three railcars to be picked up were not properly coupling together after five previous attempts to couple them.
"We determined that the probable cause of the May 19, 2021, Pan Am Railways employee fatality was the conductor’s failure to adhere to Pan Am Railways safety rules prohibiting movement between unbraked, moving equipment during gravity coupling, which resulted in the conductor being pinned between railcars," the NTSB wrote in its final report released Tuesday.
The report said that after Jenkins was pinned between the couplers of the stationary train’s last railcar and the nearer of the pair of unbraked railcars, he radioed the engineer and asked him to move the train forward.
Jenkins was able to free himself and lie down on the grass. The engineer called 911 and Newington fire and police were on the scene at the tracks near the Piscataqua River off Woodbury Avenue within five minutes.
The NTSB said it does not assign fault or blame during its investigations, which are instead considered fact-finding missions.