A Norfolk Southern Corp. train derailed in Springfield, Ohio, about a month after an earlier crash in the state that shone a spotlight on rail safety.
Around 20 cars of a 212-car train derailed while traveling southbound near Springfield Saturday evening, the company said in an emailed statement. No hazardous materials are involved and there were no reported injuries, it said.
Norfolk Southern is grappling with the fallout from the East Palestine, Ohio, crash that left residents worried about contaminated air and water. While train derailments happen fairly regularly, the Feb. 3 incident drew special scrutiny after hazardous chemicals were spilled, forcing an evacuation of the community of about 4,700 people as authorities intentionally vented and burned tank cars to prevent an explosion.
Clark County officials said on Saturday they are asking residents within 1,000 feet to shelter in place “out of an abundance of caution,” but aren’t currently issuing evacuation orders. More than 1,500 residents are without electricity because of downed power lines, officials said in a Facebook post.
Norfolk Southern teams are en route to the site to begin cleanup operations, according to the company’s statement. Federal Railroad Administration officials are also on the way, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter.
The incident could amp up the pressure already on Norfolk Southern. Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, pointed to the two derailments and at least two other incidents involving the company’s trains in the state in recent months, calling them “unacceptable” and accusing Norfolk Southern of putting profit margins before safety.
“Ohio communities should not be forced to live in fear of another disaster,” Brown, who is one of the sponsors of a new Senate bill aimed at tackling railway safety, said in a statement.
–With assistance from Ari Natter.
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