NTSB Finds Anomalies With Tank Car Relief Valves Taken From 5 Cars in East Palestine Derailment

Investigators found anomalies with the function of some pressure relief devices removed from the five vinyl chloride monomer tank cars involved in the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine.

The valves regulate the internal pressure of rail tank cars by releasing material when under pressure.

National Transportation Safety Board officials said the defects were found during a review of the valves at a Texas laboratory.

The NTSB finding said the function of some values may have compromised their pressure relieving capability. However, officials said further testing is needed to further investigate that finding.

The investigation at the Texas lab found that  one of the internal springs of one of the values was coated with aluminum, which is not compatible with vinyl chloride.

The NTSB report said that although aluminum debris from melted protective housing covers entered the valve discharge areas, there was no evidence that melted aluminum entered the tank car itself.

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