The partial federal shutdown that is currently in effect has impeded a number of federal departments from functioning at 100%. One of the more serious impacts of the shutdown is likely to be the failure of the National Transportation Safety Board to begin investigations into major highway and industrial accidents.
It's only been a few days since the shutdown began, and the National Transportation Safety Board has already had to decline requests for investigations from several parts of the country. So far, the Board has confirmed that it has had to decline at least 13 accidents that have occurred since the shutdown was triggered. Those accidents include a fatal bus accident occurred in Tennessee, killing eight people. Other serious accidents that also required the National Transportation Safety Board investigations are a crude oil pipeline spill that occurred in North Dakota and a US drug interdiction plane crash in Colombia that ended in fatalities.
The National Transportation Safety Board has also put on hold at least two plane crash hearings, including one that had been planned for the month of November into the Asiana Airlines plane crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board chief is so frustrated at this turn of events, that she is calling on lawmakers to allow the Board to continue its critical safety functions. She has written to the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee, asking its members to allow the agency to continue with its investigations and fact-finding missions.
The National Transportation Safety Board usually investigates accidents around the country that have resulted in multiple fatalities. These investigations are very detailed, extensive and provide reasons for the accident, as well as recommendations to prevent such accidents in the future.