State Watch

Norfolk Southern train derails in Ohio Saturday night; no hazardous materials on board

Multiple cars of a Norfolk Southern train lie toppled on one another after derailing at a train crossing with Ohio 41 in Clark County, Ohio, Saturday, March 4, 2023. (Bill Lackey/Springfield-News Sun via AP)

A Norfolk Southern train derailed in Ohio on Saturday evening, marking the second train derailment of the company’s in just one month.

However, unlike last month’s derailment, which has caused mounting environmental and public health concerns, officials said there were no hazardous materials on board in the latest accident.

County officials said the incident occurred at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday in Clark County, when 20 of the train’s 212 cars derailed carrying four tankers, which were labeled as carrying non-hazardous materials.

Clark Country Emergency Management Agency said in a statement that there were no injuries and that there was no evidence of any spillage from the cars.

Clark County officials issued a shelter-in-place order for residents who lived within 1,000 feet of the site “out of an abundance of caution” on Saturday evening. After the derailment, more than 1,500 residents reported power outages, and county officials said on Saturday that it was “unclear” how long it would take before power is restored.

The shelter-in-place order has since been lifted.

Norfolk Southern confirmed in an emailed statement that no hazardous materials were on derailed cars and that no injuries were reported. The company added that their crew responded to the derailment overnight and started the cleanup process Sunday morning.

“Late this afternoon an @nscorp train derailed in Clark County. We don’t believe hazardous materials were involved. @OhioEPA, @Ohio_EMA, & @OSHP are on scene supporting first responders. President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg called me to offer help from the federal government,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said in a statement on Saturday.

This derailment comes just one month after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio on Feb. 3, which spilled hazardous materials and prompted evacuation orders. Residents have raised ongoing concerns about public health and the environment as Norfolk Southern begins to clean up the derailment site.

“I have been briefed by [Federal Railroad Administration] 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 [Federal Railroad Administration] personnel are en route,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement on Saturday.

Since the February derailment, Buttigieg has faced criticism for his department’s handling of the derailment in East Palestine. Last month, he unveiled a series of railroad reforms in response to the high-profile incident.

Updated: 3:44 p.m.

Tags Joe Biden Mike DeWine Norfolk Southern Ohio train derailment Pete Buttigieg train derailment

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