Norfolk Southern freight train derails in Clark County, Ohio prompting shelter-in-place order ‘out of an abundance of caution’
A Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in the Springfield, Ohio area on Saturday afternoon, prompting a shelter-in-place order for nearby residents – just a month after the company’s toxic train crash across the state in eastern Palestine.
No injuries were reported Saturday and there was no hazardous materials situation at the crash site in Clark County, a spokesperson for the Ohio State Highway Patrol told CNN. The derailment happened around 5 p.m. ET and the road was closed on State Route 41, the spokesperson added.
Twenty cars of the 212-car Norfolk Southern train derailed as it traveled south in the Springfield area, Norfolk Southern spokesman Connor Spielmaker told CNN.
“There were no hazardous materials involved and no injuries were reported,” Spielmaker said. “Our teams are on their way to the site to begin clean-up operations.”
The company is working to find out what the train was carrying, Spielmaker added, confirming it was not a passenger train.
The Clark County Emergency Management Agency on Saturday asked residents who were within 1,000 feet of the train derailment “to shelter in place out of an abundance of caution.”
“We are asking all residents who need to travel to Ohio 41 to find alternate routes. Local and state officials are at the scene, including the Springfield Fire Department Rescue Division and the Springfield Police Department,” the agency said in a Facebook update.
Clark County officials also said they were aware of power outages in the area due to downed power lines.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he had been notified of the derailment and was dispatching Federal Railroad Administration officials to the scene.
“I have been briefed by FRA leadership and have spoken with Governor DeWine to offer our support following today’s derailment in Clark County, Ohio. No hazardous material releases have been reported, but we will continue to monitor closely and FRA staff are on the way,” Buttigieg said in a statement. Tweeter SATURDAY.
The derailment comes as crews were still working to clean up the toxic wreckage of another Norfolk Southern train which derailed on February 3 while carrying hazardous materials more than 200 miles away in eastern Palestine , Ohio.
The East Palestine derailment fueled outcry from residents who complained of symptoms including headaches and coughing after the violent crash. The train was carrying dangerous chemical vinyl chloride – which was released and burned to prevent a potentially deadly explosion – and other chemicals that are feared have leached into the surrounding ecosystem.
Norfolk Southern has pledged to clean up the wreckage entirely and has pledged to invest in eastern Palestine.
The derailment put rail safety in the spotlight and raised questions about the regulations surrounding the transportation of hazardous materials. Data from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis shows that there have been at least 1,000 derailments in the United States each year for the past decade.
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