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New Norfolk Southern train derailment in Ohio

Ambulance (Dreamstime/TNS)
March 06, 2023

A second Norfolk Southern train derailed in Ohio on Saturday evening, sending dozens of train cars off the tracks as fallout continues from the company’s toxic derailment in East Palestine, Ohio just over a month ago.

No hazardous materials or passengers were being carried on this train, which derailed around 5 p.m. Saturday near Springfield, the Associated Press reported. Norfolk Southern initially reported 20 cars derailed, but general manager Kraig Barner updated that to 28 on Sunday, the New York Times reported.

Coming soon after the East Palestine derailment and a week after another Norfolk Southern mishap in North Carolina, this was also the second Norfolk Southern derailment Clark County has seen in less than a year, according to the Springfield News-Sun.

The derailment occurred close to the county fairgrounds. Residents within 1,000 feet of the derailment were initially asked to shelter-in-place, according to an announcement from the Clark County Combined Health District. 

The district later announced there was “no indication of any injuries or risk to public health at this time,” adding that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency confirmed no public water systems or private wells were in the area.

READ MORE: Trump buys first responders McDonald’s in East Palestine after train derailment

The scene was inspected by independent teams from Norfolk Southern, the Ohio EPA, and Clark County hazmat. Residual amounts of non-hazardous materials were identified in four tank cars: two carrying diesel exhaust fluid, and two carrying polyacrylamide water solution, according to the health district.

Barner said a hopper car spilled some non-toxic plastic pellets, the Times reported. He added that many of the derailed cars were empty box cars, while other cars that did not overturn largely carried mixed freight, steel and automobiles.

The Federal Railroad Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have both announced investigations into the incident, the cause of which remains unclear, the Times reported.

The derailment came two days before Norfolk Southern unveiled its “six-point safety plan” on Monday ahead of a Thursday Senate hearing, where CEO Alan Shaw is set to testify on the East Palestine derailment.

In that incident, officials deliberately burned chemicals in some of the cars, fearing they would explode, which sent a huge plume of black smoke over the town and ignited ongoing concerns for the health of people and animals in the area.

Derailments are the most common type of train accident and occurred an average of 1,705 times a year between 1990 and 2021, according to federal data.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.