Officials say no hazardous material was leaked in latest Norfolk Southern trail derailment in Ohio

By Neirin Gray Desai For Dailymail.Com and Associated Press

22:02 05 Mar 2023, updated 22:38 05 Mar 2023

  • No hazardous material was involved in the Norfolk Southern derailment in Ohio on Saturday
  • The derailments were the fourth company in Ohio in less than five months
  • The Ohio legislature introduced a bill intended to improve railroad standards

Authorities said the recent Norfolk Southern train derailment in Ohio this Saturday did not result in a spill of hazardous materials and did not pose a health risk.

Even so, more than 1,500 Clark County residents were left without power and those within 1,000 feet of the site were told to take shelter “as a precaution.”

The 22-car derailment came just a month after a serious crash involving 38 cars in eastern Palestine made international headlines on February 3, and marks the company’s fourth derailment in the state in less than five months.

Ohio is one of the four states with the most train derailments, with 128 derailments between 2018 and 2021, according to the US Department of Transportation.

Authorities have reassured residents that no hazardous materials were spilled in the recent Norfolk Southern train derailment in Ohio this Saturday
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (pictured in February at the site of the East Palestine derailment) described the latest accident as “unacceptable” and last week introduced new legislation to improve railroad safety

Clark County officials say about 20 of the 212 cars on the southbound train, including four tank trucks, derailed around 4:45 p.m. Saturday.

The four tankers contained non-hazardous materials that are not considered hazardous. Two carried residues of diesel exhaust fluid and two others had residues of polyacrylamide-water solution, they said.

Four Norfolk Southern derailments in Ohio in five months

8th October – A train derails in Sandusky, Ohio, spilling paraffin wax that later solidified

November 7th – A train derails in Steubenville, Ohio, dumping garbage into the Ohio River

3 February – A huge derailment of 38 cars in eastern Palestine leads to the controlled explosion of toxic chemicals

4th of March – A 22-car train derails near Springfield, Ohio, but officials rule out the presence of hazardous materials

It happened at Ohio 41 near Prime Ohio Business Park near Springfield, which is about 46 miles west of the state capital, Columbus.

“Sandusky, Steubenville, East Palestine and now Springfield – all in the last five months. This is unacceptable,” Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown wrote on Twitter.

Brown is now one of a handful of executives who want to see tougher legislation restricting the operating licenses of Norfolk Southern and other rail companies.

“That’s why we must now pass my bipartisan Railway Safety Act,” he added. Brown introduced the law last Wednesday along with Republican JD Vance and four other senators.

“We know that overheated wheel bearings were the cause of most [derailments], we don’t do the inspections well. That’s going to change,” Brown said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

Brown also blamed railroad companies like Norfolk Southern, which have tried to cut costs by laying off engineers who can monitor trains.

“The railroads want to be able to run 150 or 200 cars through a community with one engineer and one employee because they keep laying off employees,” he added.

He also said he wanted to see inspections forced on operators.

“We want to see more inspections, these inspections because they laid off so many workers, they’re really just superficial inspections on the rails, on the carriage couplers, on the locomotives,” he added.

“If you lay off a third of the workforce, you are clearly jeopardizing the work those workers are doing.”

The train had about 22 cars that derailed. Four tanker trucks contained non-hazardous waste material including residues of diesel exhaust fluid and residual polyacrylamide-water solution

Authorities in Ohio said there was no indication of a public health risk from the derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train
About 1,500 Clark County residents were without power after Saturday’s derailment

Authorities in Ohio said there was no indication of a public health risk from the derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train that took place between Dayton and Columbus.

As a precaution, residents living within 1,000 feet were asked to protect themselves at the scene and responding firefighters deployed the county hazmat team as a precaution, but officials said early Sunday the train was carrying no hazardous materials and there was ‘no evidence of injury’ or public health hazard at that time.’

A crew from Norfolk Southern, the hazmat team and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency “independently surveyed the crash site and found that there was no evidence of a spill at the site,” officials said.

Norfolk Southern said no hazardous materials were involved, county officials previously said.

County officials also say environmental officials have confirmed the derailment is not near a protected water source, meaning there is no risk to public water systems or private wells.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted Saturday night that he had been briefed on the derailment by Federal Railroad Administration officials and had also spoken to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

“No releases of hazardous materials have been reported, but we continue to monitor this closely and FRA personnel are on the way,” Buttigieg said.

DeWine said late Saturday night that President Biden and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg called him “to offer help from the federal government.”

Amid the train crash on February 3, hazardous substances were released into the air, soil and nearby surface water
The derailment of the Norfolk-Southern train a month ago in the city of eastern Palestine caused a massive fire and prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents

On February 3, 38 cars on a Norfolk-Southern freight train derailed in eastern Palestine in northeastern Ohio near Pennsylvania, and several cars on the train carrying hazardous materials caught fire.

Although no one was injured, nearby neighborhoods in both states were at risk.

The crash prompted the evacuation of about half of the town’s roughly 5,000 residents, ongoing emergency relief from multiple governments, and ongoing concerns among villagers about long-term health effects.


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