The number of overall transportation fatalities fell by 9.2% in 2009 from the prior year, but pipeline-related deaths climbed by 75% during the period, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The NTSB data, which was released Wednesday, indicate that fatalities in all modes of transportation totaled 35,928 in 2009 compared to 39,569 in 2008. Highway, rail and aviation-related deaths declined, while pipeline and marine fatalities rose during 2009, the latest year for which statistics are available.

The number of pipeline fatalities rose to 14 in 2009 from eight in 2008, and most of the deaths were associated with natural gas pipelines. The NTSB reported that 10 of the fatalities in 2009 involved natural gas pipelines, up from six fatalities in 2008, and four of the fatalities involved liquids pipelines, up from two in 2008.

Still, of all the modes of transportation, pipelines had the lowest number of fatalities in 2009. The NTSB reported that fatalities on the highway were 33,808 in 2009; rail fatalities were 751; marine, 817; and aviation, 538.

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