NTSB ANNOUNCES EFFECTS OF THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by The National Transportation Safety Board and received
via e-mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
NTSB ANNOUNCES EFFECTS OF THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN 
Hearings and Board Meetings rescheduled, accident investigations
delayed 
October 22, 2013 
WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board today
announced a series of postponements, delays and changes in Board
Meetings, reports and other processes as a result of the 16-day
federal government shutdown. 
During the shutdown, 383 of the 405 employees were issued
furlough notices. 
“It is clear that safety was not served by the government
shutdown,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “I am
pleased to say that the dedicated men and women of the NTSB are
back at work, focusing on our important safety mission.” 
Since reopening last Thursday, the Board has evaluated the
impact that the shutdown had on current accident investigations
and the agency’s ability to launch investigators to the dozens
of accidents that occurred during the furlough period. The
impacts on major investigations include: 
• Metro-North Derailment and Track Worker Fatality: A two-day
investigative hearing on the May 17, 2013, derailment and
collision involving two Metro-North commuter trains in
Bridgeport, Conn., and the May 28, 2013, accident in West Haven,
Conn., in which a rail worker was struck and killed by a Metro-North passenger train, was canceled during the shutdown. The
hearing has been rescheduled for November 6 & 7. 
• Asiana Airlines Crash During Landing: A two-day investigative
hearing on the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San
Francisco International Airport has been postponed from November
to December. 
• Sissonville, West Virginia, Pipeline Rupture: The final report
on the December 11, 2012, natural gas pipeline rupture and
explosion has been delayed. The Board Members will consider the
draft report before the end of the calendar year, but it will
not be deliberated on December 3 at the previously scheduled
Board Meeting. 
• Seastreak Wall Street Ferry Accident: The Board Meeting for
the final report on the probable cause of the January 9, 2013,
Seastreak Wall Street ferry accident in New York has been
delayed. A new date for the completion of the final report will
be announced in the coming weeks. 
• Boeing 787 Battery Fire: Additional testing of an exemplar
lithium ion battery that was scheduled to begin during the
shutdown had to be delayed. 
At the time of the shutdown, the NTSB had investigators on the
scene of two accidents: a fatal general aviation accident in
Santa Monica, Calif., and a Chicago Transit Authority rail
accident in Chicago. The investigators in California gathered
the perishable evidence before the shutdown and were furloughed
on October 1. Investigators in Chicago remained on-scene for
five days following the shutdown as they believed that the
accident scenario could be repeated unless safety improvements
were rapidly implemented. Once the NTSB issued three urgent
safety recommendations to prevent a recurrence, those
investigators were furloughed. 
During the shutdown, there were 59 new aviation accidents, of
which ten were fatal crashes. In addition, there was a deadly
motorcoach crash, a significant pipeline leak, a house explosion
caused by a natural gas leak, a fatal grade crossing accident
and a fatal transit accident. The agency launched investigators
to only two of those accidents where it was determined that
there was an imminent threat to life or property. 
The NTSB will determine the probable cause of each of the 59
aviation accidents, but some investigations will be limited in
scope. 
While the NTSB will not initiate an investigation into the other
accidents listed above, investigators will review reports and
findings from state and local investigators to determine if
there are any additional safety concerns that the NTSB should
address. 
The NTSB continues to assess the long-term impact of the
shutdown on hundreds of other ongoing investigations including
the Boeing 787 battery fire investigation, the investigation
into the May 23 highway bridge collapse in Mt. Vernon, Wash.,
and the investigation into the cause of the August 14 fatal
crash of a UPS Airbus A300 in Birmingham, Ala. 
# NTSB # 
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent
federal agency charged with determining the probable cause of
transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and
assisting victims of transportation accidents and their
families. 
For more information, visit: www.NTSB.gov. 
(sgp) NY 
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