Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Transportation Safety Board of Canada

March 21, 2007 10:00 ET

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada Releases its 2006 Preliminary Transportation Occurrence Statistics

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - March 21, 2007) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released today its preliminary 2006 transportation occurrence statistics. Last year, the marine and rail modes of transportation showed a decrease in reported accidents compared to 2005, and the pipeline and air modes showed a slight increase. In the marine, rail and air modes, the number of fatalities decreased from last year. Fatalities resulting from pipeline accidents remained at zero. Reportable incidents in the marine, pipeline and rail modes decreased compared to 2005, while reportable air incidents were almost unchanged.

Highlights for each mode are as follows:

Marine

In all, 467 marine accidents were reported to the TSB in 2006, a 4% decrease from the 2005 total of 489 and a 7% decrease from the 2001-2005 average of 506. Shipping accidents, which comprised 90% of marine accidents, reached a 30-year low of 419 in 2006, down from 444 in 2005 and from the five-year average of 455. Nearly half of all Canadian-flag vessels involved in shipping accidents were fishing vessels. In 2006, marine fatalities totalled 18, down from both the 2005 total of 20 and the 2001-2005 average of 25. Thirty-one vessels were reported lost in 2006, up from the 2005 total of 26 but down from the five-year average of 34. In 2006, 212 marine incidents were reported in accordance with the TSB mandatory reporting requirements, down from 227 in 2005 and from the five-year average of 222.

Pipeline

In 2006, 8 pipeline accidents were reported to the TSB, up from the 2005 total of 5 but down from the 2001-2005 average of 13. Pipeline activity is estimated to have increased by 2% over last year. The accident rate increased to 0.6 pipeline accidents per exajoule in 2006, up from 0.4 in 2005 but down from the 2001-2005 average rate of 1.2. The last fatal pipeline accident in the portion of the industry under federal jurisdiction occurred in 1988, but an accident involving serious injury occurred in 2006. In 2006, 63 pipeline incidents were reported in accordance with the TSB mandatory reporting requirements, down from 79 in 2005 but up from the five-year average of 52. In all, 88% of those incidents involved uncontained or uncontrolled release of small quantities of gas, oil and high-vapour-pressure products.

Rail

A total of 1141 rail accidents were reported to the TSB in 2006, a 9% decrease from the 2005 total of 1247 but a 5% increase from the 2001-2005 average of 1091. Rail activity is estimated to be unchanged from 2005 and to have increased by 4% over the five-year average. The accident rate decreased to 11.9 accidents per million train-miles in 2006, compared to 13.0 in 2005 and to the five-year rate of 11.9. Rail-related fatalities totalled 95 in 2006, compared to 103 in 2005 and to the five-year average of 96; 87 of these fatalities were at level crossings or in trespassing accidents. In 2006, rail incidents reported under the TSB mandatory reporting requirements reached a 24-year low of 225, down from 243 in 2005 and from the five-year average of 283.

Air

Canadian-registered aircraft, other than ultralights, were involved in 262 reported accidents in 2006, a 2% increase from the 2005 total of 258 but a 5% decrease from the 2001-2005 average of 275. The 2006 estimate of flying activity is 4 161 000 hours, yielding an accident rate of 6.3 accidents per 100 000 flying hours, unchanged from the 2005 rate but down from the five-year rate of 7.1. Canadian-registered aircraft, other than ultralights, were involved in 31 fatal occurrences with 52 fatalities in 2006, comparable to the 34 fatal occurrences with 51 fatalities in 2005 and to the five year average of 31 fatal occurrences with 52 fatalities. A total of 15 fatal occurrences involved commercial aircraft (6 aeroplanes and 9 helicopters); 12 of the remaining 16 fatal occurrences involved privately operated aeroplanes. The number of accidents involving ultralights decreased to 27 in 2006 from 31 in 2005, and the number of fatal accidents decreased substantially to 1 in 2006 from 5 in 2005. In 2006, a total of 825 incidents were reported in accordance with the TSB mandatory reporting requirements. This is comparable to the 2005 total of 822 and a 4% decrease from the 2001-2005 average of 857.

The complete TSB statistics for each mode are included on the TSB Web site at www.tsb.gc.ca. The TSB Web site also provides completed investigation reports for each mode.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

Contact Information

  • Transportation Safety Board of Canada
    Christian Plouffe
    A/Senior Media Relations Advisor
    819-953-7812
    or
    Transportation Safety Board of Canada
    Genevieve Lamarche
    Media Relations Specialist
    819-994-8067