Another Norfolk Southern train derails in Ohio; company says no toxins aboard

The site in East Palestine, Ohio, of the previously derailed Norfolk Southern freight train in February 2023. PHOTO: NYTIMES

OHIO – A Norfolk Southern train derailed in Ohio on Saturday, the second such incident involving the railroad in that state in about a month, prompting local officials to order residents living near the site of the accident to shelter in place.

Norfolk Southern said the train that derailed near Springfield was not carrying any hazardous materials and that no one was hurt. Local authorities said first responders on the scene were working to confirm that no toxins were involved.

The accident follows the Feb 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio, 290km north-east of Springfield. The East Palestine derailment sent millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment and forced thousands of people to evacuate.

Norfolk Southern said in an e-mailed statement that Saturday’s derailment of about 20 cars of a 212-car train happened as it was travelling southbound near Springfield. The statement did not give any cause for the derailment.

“No hazardous materials are involved and there have been no reported injuries,” Norfolk Southern said. “Our teams are en route to the site to begin cleanup operations.”

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter he had been briefed by the Federal Railroad Administration on the latest derailment and that they would closely monitor the situation.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said President Joe Biden and Mr Buttigieg had called him to offer any assistance needed with the latest accident. “We don’t believe hazardous materials were involved,” he said.

Clark County officials asked residents living within 300m of Saturday’s derailment to “shelter-in-place out of an abundance of caution”, according to a statement on the county’s Facebook page.

It said there were power outages in the area due to downed power lines resulting from the accident, and that it was not clear how long it would take to restore electricity. REUTERS

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