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Updated HAZMAT database available from NICAR

Now current through March 2014, the Hazardous Materials Incident Reports data contains information on unintentional releases of hazardous materials during transportation in air, over water, on highways and on railroads. Available fields include the route, city and state in which the incident occurred, as well as detailed information about where the materials were headed and how they were being transferred. For more information, download NICAR's Readme file on the data.

Incidents included in the data go back to 1971. Download a sample of the data here


50-200 market or circulation below 50,000: $50

25-50 market or 50,000-100,000 circulation: $100

top 25 market or circulation above 100,000: $150

Ready to order? You can purchase the entire data set online or by contacting NICAR at or 573-884-7711

How to use the database

As part of a recent INN series, MinnPost created a visualization to summarize the data, displaying the number of incidents, when they occured, what kind of materials were involved, which companies were responsible, and which incidents were the most expensive. 

Iowa Watch used the data in a story about the dangers of railroad cars that carry flammable liquids, and the fact that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has not mandated regulations that would make cars safer.

Public Source, in Pennsylvania, analyzed the data to investigate incidents in the state, including those similar to the January 2014 derailment of a train carrying crude oil on a bridge over the Schuylkill River.

Listen to reporters talk about how they use the database.

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