Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Transportation accidents on downward trend in Canada: TSB

OTTAWA — Accidents in Canada's skies, and on its waters, railways and pipelines are on a downward trend, according to preliminary statistics released Wednesday by the Transportation Safety Board.

In 2011, 7.9 transportation occurrences were reported daily to the agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation accidents and incidents — down from 8.4 in 2010.

Of the 2,882 total occurrences reported, 121 resulted in fatalities.

"Improving the safety of Canada's transportation system is the TSB's No. 1 priority," said chairwoman Wendy Tadros.

"We are pleased with the progress made, but every year we investigate many new accidents, some with similar causes. We will continue to call upon industry and government to make the meaningful changes needed to ensure our pipelines, our railways, our waters and our skies will be safer for Canadians."

In the aviation sector, 932 occurrences were reported to the agency, representing an 18 per cent decrease over the 2006-2010 average of 1,135 occurrences. Overall, aircraft accident rates in Canada have continued to drop, with 5.7 accidents per 100,000 flying hours, down from the five-year rate of 6.2.

And although the number of accidents involving privately owned aircraft has "edged down" slightly since 2010, these occurrences still account for 67 per cent of all aviation accidents reported, the agency said.

Meanwhile, the TSB said "the encouraging trend in the rail sector continued" in 2011, with fatalities reaching a five-year low of 71.

The pipeline industry reported five accidents, the lowest number since 2005, while the number of incidents rose slightly to 165.

There was also a "significant decline" in marine occurrences reported to the TSB last year, with accidents falling 23 per cent from the 2006-2010 average of 420 and incidents decreasing to 221 from the five-year average of 251.

In 2011, Canadian-flagged fishing vessels were involved in 36 per cent of shipping accidents in Canada, down from 42 per cent in 2010.

"While the TSB is encouraged by the decrease in fishing vessel accidents, more needs to be done to ensure those working in the fishing industry can, and will work safely," the report says.


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