First responders from Norfolk Southern Corp. this weekend are responding to their second freight train derailment in Ohio in less than a month, coming just four weeks after another Norfolk Southern train came off the rails and spilled noxious chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio, according to published reports.
The Atlanta-based railroad operator had made no public comment about the latest incident on its website or social media accounts as of Sunday afternoon.
But Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed the incident in a Twitter post and said federal experts from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) had been dispatched to the scene. “I have been briefed by FRA 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 FRA personnel are en route,” Buttigieg said.
A smartphone video recorded by a motorist waiting at a railroad crossing appeared to show the beginning of the wreck as several cars folded on their hitches and left the railbed, a story published by Reuters showed. In a statement to the news agency, Norfolk Southern said that Saturday's derailment involved some 20 cars in a 212-car train that was traveling southbound near Springfield, a city located between Dayton and Columbus.
The accident comes just days after a bipartisan group of Senators filed a bill in Congress that would require more stringent rail safety standards, known as “The Railway Safety Act of 2023.”
I have been briefed by FRA 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 FRA personnel are en route.— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) March 5, 2023