Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Hazard Identification Report 2019 - Section I - Transportation Hazards

HAZARD IDENTIFICATION REPORT 2019 - SECTION I - TRANSPORTATION HAZARDS

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Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Program

Hazard Identification Report 2019
Section I: Transportation Hazards

Office of the Fire Marshal & Emergency Management

Introduction

The Hazard Report contains information profiles for hazards, including a high-level overview of possible consequences. It is divided into 10 parts; an introduction and 9 sub-sections labelled A-I as follows:

  1. Agriculture and Food
  2. Environmental
  3. Extraterrestrial
  4. Hazardous Materials
  5. Health
  6. Public Safety
  7. Structural
  8. Supply and Distribution
  9. Transportation

Contents

Transportation Hazards: Hazards relating to modes of transportation and systems of transportation

Aviation

Go to next hazard: Marine

Definition

Transportation emergencies involving aircraft.

Description

Transportation emergencies involving aircraft may arise from the circumstances below but are not limited to:

  • An aircraft colliding with another aircraft in the air.
  • An aircraft crashing or being in imminent danger due to mechanical problems, or human error.
  • An aircraft crashing or being in imminent danger due to environmental hazards such as storms, high wind or wildland fires (smoke or fire).
  • An aircraft colliding with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
  • An aircraft crashing while in the takeoff, cruising or landing phases of a flight.
  • An aircraft colliding with an object on the ground or at any stage during the flight.
  • Two or more aircraft colliding on the ground during staging or taxi operations.

This hazard may also result in secondary hazards such as fires and explosions.

Airports are critical infrastructure as they facilitate passenger and supply movement provincially and internationally. They are also a crucial link to remote municipalities and First Nations (especially in months without ice roads). Additionally, airports and aircraft are integral to the safety of the communities when evacuations are required, including routine evacuations due to flood and wildland fires.

Thousands of airplanes fly into and out of airports every day across the province. There are 184 airports across Ontario, excluding those classified as aerodromes and Canadian Forces Bases. International airports in Ontario are located in London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Hamilton and Waterloo.

The Remote Northern Transportation Office in Thunder Bay operates 29 airports in Northern Ontario. 27 airports have 3,500 foot gravel runways and serve isolated aboriginal communities with no all-weather road access. The office has local staff at each airport (except Armstrong) for operations and maintenance activities with management and supervision provided from the Thunder Bay office

Despite the high volume of air traffic, serious air transportation incidents involving large numbers of people are rare. However, with this ample access also comes the risk of a major air transportation emergency, primarily an aircraft crash or accident. Such incidents could additionally result in the loss of fuselage, damage to property and in the most extreme cases, casualties. The consequences can therefore be catastrophic and can have major impacts on the city. The threat is largely mitigated by legislation and technological improvements in aviation.

According to Transport Canada’s Aviation occurrence dataset, between 2004 and 2017 the average number of aviation accidents was 70, with an average of 11 fatalities and 9 injuries annually. This is lower than the national averages of 271 accidents, 53 fatalities and 40 injuries on average.[1]

Canada is very safe when it comes to air travel. From January 2004 to February 2016 there were over 13,000 incidents reported to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Of those, only 3,469 resulted in accidents. The deadliest occurrence produced 17 fatalities. Generally speaking these incidents occurred in remote areas.[2] Of the incidents logged by the Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) since January 2000, only 131 were security related incidents[3].

Civil aviation is regulated internationally by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and domestically by Transport Canada. Both bodies create guidelines and standards. The Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR) and Canadian Aviation Security Regulations (CASR) are the two bodies of legislation that regulate civil aviation in Canada. The Transportation Safety Board investigates incidents when they do occur and makes recommendations when appropriate. In addition, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also develops voluntary industry standards and guidelines followed by 83% of the worlds airlines.

Aviation safety is also governed by Canada's National Civil Aviation Security program, Air Cargo Security Program and a number of other statutes including the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, 2012[4] and the UN conventions for the suppression of unlawful seizure of aircraft, and acts of violence at airports Serving International Civil Aviation, respectively[5],[6]. Additionally, Canada's Public Safety Act, 2002 enhanced aviation security by improving the Government’s capacity to prevent terrorist attacks, protect citizens and respond quickly should a threat be identified[7].

Spatial Scale, Timing and Warning Period

Spatial Scale: Aviation accidents are limited in geographic scope to the site of the accident.

Timing: May occur at any time of the year.

Warning Period: In some cases warning and even prevention of this hazard may be possible; particularly if there is a known mechanical issue or external threat with a long lead-time, such as a severe storm.

Potential Impact

  • Injury or death. May strain the health system and response resources.
  • Reputational damage.
  • Multi-modal transport disruptions, the need for detours or re-routing. May strain transportation management resources and cause transportation delays.
  • The need for evacuation or shelter in place.
  • The need for site or area access restrictions.

Secondary Hazards

  • Fire/Explosion
  • Structure failure
  • Ecosystem disruption
  • Hazardous materials incident

Past Incidents

There have been several past incidents occurring in or originating from Ontario:

  • Toronto 2005: on August 2, 2005, Air France flight 358 attempted to land in poor conditions and slid off the runway at Toronto Pearson Airport. The aircraft suffered damage when it entered a ravine and was subsequently destroyed by fire. There was no loss of life, but 43 people were injured.
  • Toronto 1995: In 1995 an aviation accident occurred when a Nimrod aircraft crashed in Lake Ontario during the annual airshow at the Canadian National Exhibition. This prompted a response from emergency services. A crash in a more populated area or at the CNE itself could have produced a significant emergency, but damage from this incident was limited as the plane landed in the water.
  • Dryden 1989: Air Ontario Flight 1363 was a scheduled Air Ontario passenger flight which crashed near Dryden, Ontario, on 10 March 1989 shortly after takeoff from Dryden Regional Airport. The aircraft was a Fokker F28-1000 Fellowship twin jet.
  • North Atlantic 1985: Explosion, likely from a terrorist bomb, of Air India Flight 182 from Toronto on 23 June 1985. The plane crashed into the North Atlantic off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 on board, including 280 Canadians. The incident resulted in major increases in airport security.
  • Toronto 1970: Air Canada Flight 621 crash near Toronto Pearson International Airport, took place on July 5, 1970, when an Air Canada Douglas DC-8, registered as CF-TIW, was attempting to land. It was flying on a Montreal–Toronto–Los Angeles route. All 100 passengers and 9 crew on board were killed.

There have also been a number of aircraft crashes in small communities, which have had significant psychological and social impacts:

  • North Spirit Lake, Jan 10 2012: Four out of five people on board Keystone Air Flight 213 perished when the plane crashed near North Spirit Lake First Nation.
  • Nibinamik First Nation/Pickle Lake, Sept 11 2003: Wasaya Airways Flight 125 crashed, leading to the death of seven members of the Nibinamik First Nation (including most of the community’s band council members) and the pilot.
  • Sandy Lake, Nov 11 1993: An aircraft crashed on takeoff about two kilometres from the end of the runway in Sandy Lake. All seven occupants perished when the plane crashed in heavy bush.

Provincial Risk Statement

The consequences of an aviation disaster in Ontario range anywhere from minimal to catastrophic. The crash of a fully laden wide body aircraft in a populated area is possible and would provide a major challenge for response and recovery operations. That being said, given the substantial amount of mitigation work provided by regulation and existing technology, the development of this hazard is unlikely.

Human Impacts

Aviation incidents can result in fatalities or injuries for those on or within the immediate vicinity of an aviation incident.

Social Impacts

Aviation incidents can lead to impacts on community support mechanisms, particularly in remote communities that rely on air transportation. The emotional and psychological injury, resulting from the loss of friends and family, can affect everyone in these small and often close-knit communities.

Property Damage

Property is vulnerable to damage caused by an aviation incident, if a plane was to crash into or very close to a structure; it could experience damage or structural failure.

Critical Infrastructure Disruptions

Critical Infrastructure can be vulnerable to a direct impact from a plane.

Environmental Damage

An aviation incident could result in environmental damage, particularly from the chemicals released during impact or combustion.

Economic

Aviation emergencies could result in very limited economic impacts. However, if air traffic is affected more broadly by an incident, this would likely result in more serious impacts.

Marine

Go to previous hazard: Aviation

Go to next hazard: Public Transit System Disruption

Definition

Transportation emergencies involving marine vehicles and/or incidents in waterways, including in water below ice.

Description

Transportation emergencies involving marine vehicles may arise from the circumstances below but are not limited to:

  • Incidents involving vehicles above or below ice.
  • A collision with another marine vehicle or object.
  • The marine vehicle capsizing, floundering, sinking.
  • A marine vehicle encounters severe weather which causes damage or flooding.
  • A fire and/or explosion aboard the marine vehicle.
  • The marine vehicle striking land, ice or rocks and becoming damaged or grounded.
  • A marine vehicle suffers structural damage that compromises its safety.
  • The flooding of a marine vehicle.
  • A marine vehicle is high-jacked or experiences a terrorist attack.

Taking into account the number of ships sailing Canada’s waterways, incidents are very rare and significant cases even rarer. However, emergencies and disasters often represent the manifestation of unthinkable, unknowable or improbable events.

Maritime emergencies typically pose an isolated threat. Marine emergencies have become less frequent in recent years due to advancements in weather forecasting, technology and safety. Transport Canada reports that an average of 390 marine accidents occur annually with an average of 21 fatalities[8].

Masters of vessels are obligated to report marine incidents to transport Canada and Transportation Safety Board (TSB). The incident may be subject to a broader review by TSB depending on the severity of the incident.

Across Canada from 2005 to 2015 there have been 8,020 marine incidents recorded by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. The majority of these were mechanical failures and very few incidents resulted in a loss of vessel, loss of life, or serious injury[9].

Local marine traffic consists of constantly changing numbers and types of vessels. This number also varies according to local economic activities, and location-specific factors. Lake Ontario borders many Southern Ontario jurisdictions, with four port operations as part of the St. Lawrence Seaway Corridor and Lake Ontario. These are (from East to West:

  • Johnstown
  • Oshawa
  • Toronto
  • Hamilton

There are four other major ports in Ontario, as follows (from North to South):

  • Thunder Bay (lake Superior)
  • Goderich (Lake Huron)
  • Sarnia (Lake Huron)
  • Windsor (Lake Huron)

There are many other marine facilities in Ontario, including some under federal jurisdiction. Transport Canada maintains an inventory of ports and marinas, including many other marinas and ports of various sizes that would be located in the centre of towns and villages[10].

There are many potential incidents that could lead to a marine emergency:

  • Dangerous Goods Release: This hazard is included in the ‘Hazardous Materials profile. There are many possible serious effects, including contamination of drinking water or marine traffic disruption. From 2005 to 2015 only 27 (2.4%) of marine releases resulted in some form of environmental pollution.
  • Fire or Explosion: The ignition of cargo or fuel can trigger a fire or explosion onboard a ship.
  • Striking (Allision): Striking or allision is when a ship makes contact with a stationary object. This is different from collision. Striking can cause significant damage to structures and vessels.
  • Collision: Collision in this context would mean the meeting of two vessels underway. None of the 39 cases occurring between 2005 and 2015 were fatal and only two injuries resulted from these incidents. There were no vessel losses from collisions.
  • Capsize: When a vessel capsizes, it turns upside-down and continues to float. This is a particular risk if the passengers or crew was unable to follow standard abandoning procedures (Transport Canada mandates that a ship must have procedures to evacuate a vessel safely in less than 30 minutes).
  • Sinking: Sinking is the partial or total submersion of the vessel underwater.

The Marine Transportation Security Act provides a "legislative framework for the security of the marine transportation system in Canada", and applies to vessels, marine facilities, installations and structures in Canada, as well as Canadian vessels outside of Canada.

Spatial Scale, Timing and Warning Period

Spatial Scale: Marine accidents are limited in geographic scope to the site of the accident, specifically in waterways within the province, and more common in harbours and ports.

Timing: May occur at any time of the year, though winter conditions are generally more hazardous.

Warning Period: In some cases, warning and even prevention of this hazard may be possible. Examples include known mechanical issues or external threats such as storms.

Potential Impact

  • Injury or death. May strain the health system and response resources.
  • Reputational damage.
  • Ecosystem damage or disruption. Need for assurance monitoring of the environment.
  • Multi-modal transport disruptions, the need for detours or re-routing. May strain transportation management resources and cause transportation delays.
  • Possible financial and economic effects.
  • The need for site or area access restrictions.

Secondary Hazards

  • Fire/Explosion
  • Chemical incident
  • Structure failure
  • Air pollution
  • Hazardous materials incident (usually chemical)
  • Ecosystem disruption

Past Incidents

Incidents occurring in, or with significance to, Ontario are:

  • Welland Canal, 2001: The SS Windoc caught fire in the Welland Canal. The ship struck a raised bridge, which began a fire onboard. The fire caused the closure of the channel along with the diversion of local traffic.
  • Toronto Harbour, 1949: The cruise ship SS Noronic was at berth in Toronto harbour, when a fire started in a linen closet spread throughout her decks. The fire totally destroyed the ship and took 149 lives.

Provincial Risk Statement

Technological advances have also greatly decreased the odds of an accident. Improved building materials, safer designs and better tools of navigation have helped make ships safer. More advanced weather forecasting has also done its part. Poor weather is predictable, giving ships more time to seek shelter or to batten down.

Human Impacts

Marine incidents can result in fatalities or injuries for those on or within the vessel, and if involved in a collision.

Social Impacts

Marine incidents would not lead to significant impacts on community support mechanisms.

Property Damage

Property can suffer damage from a marine incident, particularly in Allision incidents. Bridges and shoreline structures are most at risk.

Critical Infrastructure Disruptions

Critical Infrastructure can be vulnerable to a direct impact from a marine vessel, particularly bridges and shoreline structures, as previously referenced.

Environmental Damage

A marine incident could result in environmental damage, particularly from the chemicals released during impact or combustion. Water pollution is the main concern, as this may also have human impact. The release of fuel/oil or hazardous cargo can also impact aquatic life and water fowl.

Economic

Marine emergencies could result in economic impacts, linked directly to the disruption of marine traffic and delivery of key resources by water.

Public Transit System Disruption

Go to previous hazard: Marine

Go to next hazard: Rail, Light Rail, or Subway

Definition

Public Transit System emergencies result when disruptions of public transit systems are significant enough to cause serious financial, reputational, economic, social or other consequences to the community.

Description

Public transit systems consist of both the digital and physical infrastructure of public transportation systems, networks and assets. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Stations
  • Track and rail systems
  • Fare collection systems
  • Computers and Digital networks, including SCADA controls
  • Staff members and personnel
  • Administration

To operate these systems, public transit organizations utilize public transportation infrastructure such as public roadways, as well as their own custom-built assets such as rail tracks. In many cases, this infrastructure exists in the public domain, such as tracks for light rail, which in many cases co-occupy the public roadway.

Public transit system disruptions may be difficult to distinguish from other transportation hazards, as public transit utilizes and relies on marine, rail, road and highway infrastructure. However, some examples of public transit system disruption include:

  • digital system failures within a public transit organization
  • accidents contained within public transportation infrastructure (such as tunnels)
  • malfunctions of local transportation system infrastructure
  • blockades, strikes or protests targeting the transit system

There are 95 public transit systems serving 132 different jurisdictions in Ontario. These include 64 with conventional and 79 with specialized services[11]. Ontario is also serviced by Metrolinx / GO Transit providing regional Rail and Bus public transit service across more than 11,000 square km. GO connects with all 17 municipal transit systems in its service area; from Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo in the west to Newcastle and Peterborough in the east, and from Orangeville and Beaverton in the north to Niagara Falls in the south. Go Transit served 68.5 million boardings in 2017.[12] Over 15% of people use public transit as their main transportation method for commuting to work in Ontario[13].

Passenger stations present common risks across all levels of rail. Stations bring together large numbers of people into a confined space. Flooding, fires, and intentional acts, amongst others, can cause system degradation and mass casualties. One poignant example is the King's Cross Station fire in 1987 London, England.

Spatial Scale, Timing and Warning Period

Spatial Scale: Emergency conditions linked to public transit disruptions are usually limited in geographic scope to the area of the incident, or the system most closely associated with the disruption. However, major disruption can create significant traffic delays and congestion or crowding on connecting systems. The scope could be wider if multiple modes of transportation, or many interconnected systems or assets.

Timing: May occur at any time of the year, though winter or significant weather conditions are generally more hazardous. Extreme heat conditions have been known to cause direct and indirect power issues as well as added stress on mechanical and digital infrastructure.

Warning Period: In some cases warning and even prevention of this hazard may be possible; particularly if there is a known mechanical or asset issue such as aging infrastructure or external threat with a long lead-time, such as a severe storm.

Potential Impact

  • Injury or death. May strain the health system and response resources.
  • Multi-modal transport disruptions, the need for detours or re-routing. May strain transportation management resources and cause transportation delays.
  • Reputational damage.
  • Disruption or closure of government, business or financial institutions.
  • The need for site or area access restrictions.
  • The need for evacuation or shelter in place.
  • The need for increased public safety or policing measures.
  • The need for site or area access restrictions.

Secondary Hazards

  • Fire/Explosion
  • Transportation failure (usually limited to road or rail systems)
  • Chemical incident
  • Structure failure
  • Air pollution
  • Hazardous materials incident (usually chemical)
  • Ecosystem disruption

Past Incidents

An outage of public transit on the scale of an entire transit system has not occurred in ontairo, except as a secondary hazard of the Eastern Canada blackout in 2003 and transportation-related incidents. However, this hazard is experienced routinely as a secondary hazard in the face of extreme weather and could arise in situations involving civil disruption, cyber threat or others.

Provincial Risk Statement

As demonstrated in previous sections, service delivery for public transportation is complex and relies on many connected systems and services. Key dependencies include digital communication systems and electricity supply, especially those spread over large areas and/or with complex service delivery elements such as high population density. Outage of public transportation systems would severely affect the ability of public transit operators to deliver coordinated service, and may cause complete loss of critical transportation systems and hubs. Secondary economic and reputational risk are heightened in such scenarios.

Human Impacts

Public Transportation system incidents can result in fatalities or injuries for those on or within transit vehicles, and if involved in a collision. However, physical injury is remote in instances of digital system or communications failure.

Social Impacts

Transportation system incidents would not lead to significant impacts on community support mechanisms, though for individuals reliant on transit to get around, it would result in severe limitations in mobility and in-person societal interaction and access to services in the short term.

Property Damage

Property can suffer damage from a public transportation incident, in the case of collation or accident. Structures owned by the transit organization are most likely to be affected, but this does not exclude the possibility of damage public roadways or other property impacts.

Critical Infrastructure Disruptions

Public transportation is a critical infrastructure in itself, but an incident is unlikely to affect others. It may limit access to other infrastructure such as health services for those reliant on transportation systems.

Environmental Damage

A public transportation incident could result in environmental damage, particularly from the chemicals released during impact or combustion.

Economic

Severe economic consequences may occur from any outage or down-time of the public transportation infrastructure. This depends on the level of dependence of the community on public transit, the effect a disruption has on commuters, and the overall ability of the community to get to work and participate in local economies.

Rail, Light Rail, or Subway

Go to previous hazard: Public Transit System Disruption

Go to next hazard: Road and Highway Emergencies

Definition

An emergency involving railway vehicles travelling on a railway track or railway line with a set of two parallel rows of long pieces of steel and is intended to be kept separate from road ways and other vehicular traffic although it may occasionally intersect it.

Funicular vehicles are not included.

Description

Transportation emergencies involving railways may arise from the circumstances below but are not limited to:

  • A train derails for any reason
  • A train endangered due to environmental hazards such as storms, high wind or wildland fires (smoke or fire).
  • A train collides with another train, vehicle, object or person.
  • Track related - track buckle, broken rail and track geometry problems;
  • Equipment related - broken wheels, bearing and axle failures, and component failures.
  • Train operations related - operating violations, technological and human error.

Rail is an efficient method of transporting people and freight over long distances. A single train has far greater capacity than a bus or a transport truck, making it the better mode of transportation in many circumstances. However, rail has recently come under greater scrutiny by the public due to high profile incidents like the explosion at Lac Megantic, QC. There has been increasing public pressure on operators and government to make Canada's railways safer, resulting in many changes to safety procedures and legislation.

Companies may utilize similar rail infrastructure for a variety of uses, but each kind of usage may have unique risks.

System Outages or Failure

Track, tunnels, stations or other parts of the system which comprise railways can be vulnerable to outages and service interruptions. Unlike marine and road transportation, finding alternative routes is extremely challenging and in many cases impossible due to the nature of the system. These incidents could occur due to:

  • Planned outages: maintenance on infrastructure can result in entire sections of system being closed. In some cases, extra stations beyond the limits of the maintenance work are included in outages to ensure clear containment of work.
  • Track obstructions: Physical obstructions on the track, such as accidents at level crossings or flooding, can cause outages of service until deemed safe.
  • Damage to infrastructure: Damage could be caused intentionally, or through pressures from environmental or other factors.

These incidents could be isolated, or cause long-term or cascading failures, including financial impacts for local economies.

Freight

Freight transport, especially of dangerous goods, has the greatest potential to result in explosive or toxic effects. Though it remains one of the safest methods for transporting dangerous goods, pipelines have statistically been shown to be safer[14].

More often, trains transport a variety of harmless products including grain, sugar, ore, track ballast or other items.

Long-Haul Passenger Services

The sole provider of long-haul passenger services in Toronto is VIA Rail, a conglomeration of Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) former passenger services. The majority of its market is centered on the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor, though the carrier services other destinations.

A derailment or collision caused by track fatigue, weather events, operator error or other factors could produce mass casualties and possibly block an already congested rail corridor, creating economic impacts.

Commuter Rail

Commuter rail services in Ontario are provided by Metrolinx through GO-Transit. On an average weekday, GO Transit services 276,500 boardings – 215,500 of these are on the train system. 91 per cent of train commuters ride to and from Union Station making it a highly critical mode of transportation.[15]

As with long-haul passenger services, the main hazard is derailment or collision. Weather has historically proven to be an impediment to GO-Rail services.

Crossings

While railway crossings do not necessarily present an increased risk of a rail accident occurring, they do represent an area of heightened risk exposure. As crossings feature motor vehicle, pedestrian or other traffic intersecting the railway, especially within highly urban areas, these areas are more vulnerable to a larger impact, as well as the potential for cascading or secondary incidents, if an accident was to occur.

Deliberate Damages or Disruptions

Railways have been targeted in the past by terrorists and saboteurs and most likely will continue to be targeted in the future. They can be attractive targets because rail has lower security thresholds than other air transportation systems, including many kilometres of potentially unsupervised track. In addition, rail disruptions can have a large potential impact. Recent examples include the Tokyo sarin attacks of 1995[16], and the Madrid train bombings of 2004[17]. While the likelihood overall is low, the impact could be extreme.

Potential Impact

  • Injury or death. May strain the health system and response resources.
  • Reputational damage.
  • Disruption or closure of government, business or financial institutions.
  • Multi-modal transport disruptions, the need for detours or re-routing. May strain transportation management resources and cause transportation delays. 
  • The need for site or area access restrictions.
  • The need for debris management
  • The need for evacuation or shelter in place.
  • The need for increased public safety or policing measures.

Secondary Hazards

  • Fire/Explosion
  • Chemical incident
  • Structure failure
  • Air pollution
  • Hazardous materials incident (usually chemical)
  • Ecosystem disruption

Past Incidents

Incidents occurring in, or with significance to, Ontario are:

  • Kingston 2018: Via Rail passenger service between Toronto and Montreal or Ottawa were delayed by at least six hours after the derailment of a train carrying paper.
  • Gogama 2015: A 2015 oil train crash and explosion was caused by an improperly repaired rail that failed, according to the Transportation Safety Board. The accident spilled 2.6 million litres of oil and burned for three days.
  • Lac Megantic 2013: On July 6th a train parked overnight laden with crude-oil caught fire and subsequently lost pressure to its brakes. As the train's brake systems lost pressure, the liquid container cars uncoupled from the train and rolled backwards down a hill where they jumped the tracks and exploded in the heart of the town. 47 people were killed, over 30 buildings destroyed, and others demolished because of petroleum contamination. New regulation was instituted thereafter, and new safety measures were enacted.[18]
  • Burlington 2012: A derailment that occurred on February 26, 2012, in the Aldershot neighborhood of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, resulting in deaths of the 3 engineers in the locomotive and 46 injuries. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) ruled that the crew misinterpreted the signal causing them to believe that they were authorized to proceed at a greater speed than they were.
  • Toronto, 1995: The Russell Hill subway accident was a deadly train crash that occurred in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Line 1 Yonge–University of the Toronto subway. 3 people were killed and 30 were injured when one train rear-ended another train. The subway line was shut down for five days following the incident. Provincial Risk Statement
  • Mississauga 1979: In the nearby municipality of Mississauga, a train laden with dangerous goods derailed after a railcar failed mechanically. The car lost its wheel and axle from excessive friction, and caused several tanker cars to explode. Other cars with toxic substances subsequently derailed and spilled their contents. Over 200,000 people were forced from their homes until the situation was under control.[19]
  • Spanish River, 1910: The Spanish River derailment occurred on January 21, 1910, on the CPR line near the settlement of Nairn near Sudbury, Ontario. The train derailed on a bridge and entered the Spanish river; 44 people died and many were injured.

Provincial Risk Statement

Human Impacts

Railway incidents can result in fatalities or injuries for those on or within the immediate vicinity of an incident.

Social Impacts

Railway incidents would not lead to long-term impacts on community support mechanisms, though some may be affected in the short term, during and immediately following an incident.

Property Damage

Property is vulnerable to damage caused by an railway incident, if a train was to crash into or very close to a structure; it could experience damage or structural failure.

Critical Infrastructure Disruptions

Critical Infrastructure can be vulnerable to a direct impact from a train. This includes the rails, bridges or other infrastructure involved in the normal transit of the train.

Environmental Damage

A railway incident could result in environmental damage, particularly from the chemicals released during impact or combustion.

Economic

Railway incidents could result in economic impacts that extend beyond the limits of the affected area, to the connected communities along and beyond the railway network.

Road and Highway Emergencies

Go to previous hazard: Rail, Light Rail, or Subway

Definition

Transportation emergencies involving road vehicles on roadways or highways.

Description

Transportation emergencies involving road transportation may arise from the circumstances below but are not limited to:

  • Crashes involving objects
  • Crashes involving other motor vehicles
  • Poor road conditions
  • Human and technological error
  • Inclement weather or environmental conditions lead to poor driving conditions

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) maintains over 16,600 kilometres of roadways organized into various classifications which provide access to major population centres. Major classifications of highway, managed by the Province of Ontario, include:

  • 400 series & King's Highways
  • Secondary Highways
  • Tertiary

There are exceptions to Provincial ownership of highways, including King's Highway 27. This is a short municipal highway in southern Ontario. Much of it is now cared for by the City of Toronto, York Region and Simcoe County, within their respective jurisdictions.

In addition to provincial highways, road classification systems designate streets into different groups or classes according to the type of service each group is intended to provide. These include:

  • Municipal expressway
  • Major arterial road
  • Minor arterial road
  • Collector road
  • Local road
  • Laneway

The direct impacts of road and highway incidents are usually limited to damage to roadways, injuries to people and damage to vehicles. Ontario Provincial Police collision data from the last 10 years shows that inattentiveness, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt or helmet and impaired driving remain the four top factors in fatal crashes.[20],[21]

Aside from these immediate impacts, as well as the emergency resources required to respond, blocked roadways can cause widespread effects on the many services linked by and dependent on the road network. This could include government services such as garbage removal, in addition to economic, financial or other impacts for local residents and businesses.

The type of vehicle involved in an accident, as well as the load it carries, is also highly significant when considering the potential impact and consequence of a road incident. In terms of risk to each jurisdiction these secondary impacts are of far greater potential consequence than the traffic incident itself[22]. For example, the involvement of hazardous materials can cause significant secondary impacts of roadway collisions and accidents. The transportation of dangerous goods is heavily regulated and controlled through mandatory training requirements, safety documentation and a range of mandatory protective actions. Types of hazmat incidents are covered in detail in each of the Hazardous Materials profiles.

Secondary and cascading impacts to roadways can create significant and widespread consequences. An example is a washout caused by flooding, which has the potential to damage or destroy sections of roadway infrastructure.

Potential Impacts

As with other modes of transportation, emergencies involving road transportation may arise from the circumstances below:

  • Harms resulting from crashes involving objects, other vehicles, animals or people. May strain the health system and response resources.
  • Multi-modal transport disruptions, the need for detours or re-routing. May strain transportation management resources and cause transportation delays.
  • Risk to road users, resulting from poor surface conditions, road damage or other.

Other hazards which can impact roadways and traffic movements include but are not limited to:

  • Severe weather
  • Land Subsidence (including sinkholes)
  • Flooding
  • Explosions or Fire
    • accidents involving transportation of dangerous goods on the roadway
    • fire which produces smoke and impacts visibility for vehicle users
  • Mass gatherings
  • Petroleum product Shortage
  • Building collapse (including bridges)

Secondary Hazards

  • Explosion or Fire
  • Structure failure
  • Ecosystem disruption
  • Hazardous materials incident (usually chemical)

Provincial Risk Statement

Human Impacts

Road incidents often result in fatalities or injuries.

Social Impacts

Road incidents would not lead to impacts on community support mechanisms.

Property Damage

Property can be vulnerable to Road incidents; the occurrence is limited to a direct collision with a road vehicle.

Critical Infrastructure Disruptions

As roadways are a critical infrastructure, and form a vital connection between many others, there could be widely-felt impacts to critical infrastructure as a result of road incidents.

Environmental Damage

Road incidents would not result in environmental damage, except as a secondary consequence in instances such as if chemicals are released, or if fire and smoke is produced.

Economic

As roadways are a critical infrastructure, and form a vital connection between many others, there could be widely-felt economic impacts because of roadway disruption. However, as the road network is so large, effects.

End Notes

[1] Transport Canada, Aviation occurrence dataset 2004-2018. http://tsb-bst.gc.ca/eng/stats/aviation/data-2.asp

[2] http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/aviation/index.asp

[3] http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/2/cadors-screaq/m.aspx

[4] Transport Canada, Aviation Security, 2017. https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/aviationsecurity/menu.htm

[5] Protocol Supplementary To The Convention For The Suppression Of Unlawful Seizure Of Aircraft Done At Beijing On 10 September 2010. https://www.icao.int/secretariat/legal/List%20of%20Parties/Beijing_Prot_EN.pdf

[6] Convention for the suppression of unlawful seizure of aircraft, 1970. https://treaties.un.org/doc/db/terrorism/conv2-english.pdf

[7] Government of Canada News Archive. Government of Canada Introduces Improved Public Safety Act, 2002. https://www.canada.ca/en/news/archive/2002/10/government-canada-introduces-improved-public-safety-act-2002.html

[8] Transport Canada, 2013

[9] Marine Accident Investigations, Transportation Safety board, 2018. https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/marine/marine-accidents-investigations.html

[10] Transport Canada List of Ports and Marinas: https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/marine/ports-harbours/list-ports-owned-transport-canada.html

[11] Ministry of Transportation, 2018. http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/transit/municipal-transit-systems-in-ontario.shtml

[12] GO Transit, June 2018. https://www.gotransit.com/static_files/gotransit/assets/pdf/AboutUs/WhatIsGO/GO_InfoToGo_06-21-ENG.pdf

[13] Statistics Canada, Census 2016. Table 98-400-X2016329, Released November 29, 2017

[14] Fraser Institute, 2015. Centre For Natural Resource Studies. Safety in the Transportation of Oil and Gas: Pipelines or Rail? https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/safety-in-the-transportation-of-oil-and-gas-pipelines-or-rail-rev2.pdf

[15] Go Transit, 2018. https://www.gotransit.com/static_files/gotransit/assets/pdf/AboutUs/WhatIsGO/GO_InfoToGo_06-21-ENG.pdf

[16] Osaki, Tomohiro. "Deadly Sarin Attack on Tokyo Subway System Recalled 20 Years on." JapanTimes.com. Japan Times, 20 Mar. 2015

[17] Burridge, Tom. "Spain Remembers Madrid Train Bombings 10 Years on." BBC News. BBC, 11 Mar. 2014.

[18] Transportation Safety Board. Lac-Mégantic Runaway Train and Derailment Investigation Summary. Rep. no. R13D0054. N.p.: Transportation Safety Board, 2014. Print.

[19] Slack, Julie. "Derailment Changed Our History." Mississauga News. Mississauga, 10 Nov. 2009. Web.

[20] World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_traffic/activities/roadsafety_training_manual_unit_2.pdf

[21] Ontario Provincial Police Road Safety Annual Reports (ORSAR): http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/publications/ontario-road-safety-annual-report.shtml

[22] Stats Canada, 2014 Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/resources-researchstats-menu-847.htm