May 27, 2024
Officials find no signs of a spill after a Norfolk Southern freight train derails in west central Ohio

Officials find no signs of a spill after a Norfolk Southern freight train derails in west central Ohio

Crews found no signs of a spill after a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in west central Ohio Saturday afternoon, prompting a temporary shelter-in-place order for nearby residents – just one month after the company’s toxic train wreck on the other side of the state in East Palestine.

Twenty cars of the 212-car train derailed while heading southbound near the town of Springfield, Norfolk Southern spokesperson Connor Spielmaker told CNN. No injuries were reported.

Representatives from Norfolk Southern, the Environmental Protection Agency and a Clark County hazmat team each independently examined the crash site in Clark County and verified there was no evidence of spillage, Springfield Township Fire Chief Dave Mangle said at a news conference.

Two of the derailed tankers contained residual amounts of diesel exhaust fluid, another two contained polyacrylamide water solution and four were carrying with non-hazardous materials, according to Mangle.

Officials determined the derailment was not in an area with a protected water source, “meaning there is no risk of public water system or private wells this time,” Mangle added.

The derailment happened around 5 p.m. ET and the road was closed on State Route 41, an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson told CNN.

“No hazardous materials are involved … Our teams are enroute to the site to begin cleanup operations,” the Norfolk Southern spokesperson said earlier Saturday.

The Clark County Emergency Management Agency asked residents Saturday who were within 1,000 feet of the train derailment “to shelter-in-place out of an abundance of caution.” The order was lifted early Sunday morning after officials determined there was no risk to public health, Mangle said.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said earlier that he has been informed of the derailment, spoke with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and is sending Federal Railroad Administration officials to the scene.

“I have been briefed by FRA leadership and spoke with Gov. DeWine to offer our support after the derailment today in Clark County, Ohio. No hazardous material release has been reported, but we will continue to monitor closely and FRA personnel are en route,” Buttigieg said in a tweet on Saturday.

The derailment comes as crews were still working to clear the toxic wreck of another Norfolk Southern train that derailed on February 3 while carrying hazardous materials more than 200 miles away in East Palestine, Ohio.

The East Palestine derailment fueled outcry among residents who have complained of symptoms, including headaches and coughing after the fiery crash. The train was hauling dangerous chemical vinyl chloride – which was released and burned to prevent a potentially deadly explosion – and other chemicals that are feared to have leaked into the surrounding ecosystem.

Norfolk Southern has promised to fully clean up the wreck and vowed to invest in East Palestine.

The derailment has put rail safety under the spotlight and raised questions about regulations surrounding the transport of hazardous materials. Data from the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis shows there have been at least 1,000 derailments in the United States each year during the past decade.