2nd Norfolk Southern Train Derails in Ohio, Officials Order Residents to Shelter in Place
A second Norfolk Southern train derailed in Ohio, renewing fears about rail safety little more than a month after same rail company derailed in the state, creating a toxic disaster.
A second Norfolk Southern train has derailed in Ohio, just one month after a toxic chemical spill erupted in the state when a hazardous materials train operated by the same firm flew off the tracks on Feb. 3.
There were no toxic chemicals on the train that derailed Saturday, Norfolk Southern and local officials said. But surrounding residents were ordered to shelter in place for 10 hours while authorities investigated the crash in Springfield, about 80 miles northeast of Cincinnati.
By Sunday afternoon, most of the wrecked 28 train cars had been removed, authorities said.
"We're looking at clean air, clean soil and clean water," said Clark County health commissioner Charles Patterson in a Sunday press conference. "There have been multiple sweeps by multiple teams."
The crash renewed concerns about rail and environmental safety. A Norfolk Southern train derailed on Feb. 3, forcing the evacuation of hundreds in East Palestine, about 220 miles east of Springfield. The first derailment spewed toxic fumes across the small town and created an environmental mess as residents reported dead animals, livestock and sickened children and adults.
Several lawsuits have been filed against the train's operator.
The rail company's latest crash prompted another round of outcries about the firm's safety record.
“This truly is outrageous,” Mike Turner, a Republican congressman from Ohio, said on “Meet the Press” Sunday. “Luckily, it seems we may have missed a bullet in this one.”
Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said on “This Week” on Sunday the company's newest derailment was 50 cars longer than the first one.
“The railroad’s got a lot of questions they’ve got to answer and they really haven’t really done it very well yet,” he said.
On Monday, Norfolk Southern announced a "six-point plan" to improve safety. The measures included using advanced technology to perform safety checks on its freight cars.
A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report that cited surveillance video that appeared to show an overheated wheel bearing shooting sparks moments before the train caught fire and roared off the tracks.
The new safety plan comes days before a scheduled U.S. Senate hearing Thursday on the East Palestine crash, with Norfolk Southern's CEO Alan Shaw slated to appear.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating both derailments.
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