Energy & Environment

Multiple Norfolk Southern train cars derail near Pittsburgh

Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw
Greg Nash
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw gives an opening statement during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 to discuss rail saftey after last month’s derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

Multiple Norfolk Southern train cars derailed near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday, amid the recent turmoil surrounding the U.S.-based railway company, which was at the center of a toxic train derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania state line in February.

CBS News reported that five empty cars derailed, closing a stretch of West Carson Street, which runs alongside the Ohio River. Authorities said that no injuries or safety hazards have been reported in the incident. 

In a statement to The Hill, a Norfolk Southern spokesperson said its crews and contractors have already begun the cleanup process. 

“This morning, approximately five empty steel cars derailed near Pittsburgh. There is no hazardous material involved, and the cars are upright. There were no injuries reported. Norfolk Southern crews and contractors are on-site and have begun clearing the cars,” Norfolk Southern said in its statement.

“To access the site, we may have to stage some equipment on nearby roads — we appreciate the community’s patience while this work happens.”

This is at least the fourth derailment incident involving Norfolk Southern’s trains since the start of 2023. 

Last month, a company train derailed in northeast Alabama, sending 30 empty train cars off the tracks en route from Atlanta to Mississippi. 

The Alabama derailment happened on the same day Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw testified  before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the disastrous derailment of a company train in East Palestine, Ohio.

In that crash, a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed near the Pennsylvania state line, causing a massive fire and prompting authorities to evacuate about half of the 4,800 residents in the surrounding area.

Some of the rail cars were carrying hazardous materials including vinyl chloride, combustible liquids, butyl acrylate, benzene residue, and other nonhazardous materials, spurring fears among East Palestine residents of long-term contamination of air and water.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened a special investigation into the company, including at least five different “significant accidents” involving the company since 2021.

Tags East Palestine train derailment National Transportation Safety Board Norfolk Southern Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

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