Debris from Saturday’s Norfolk Southern train derailment in Ohio — the state’s second in a month — was cleared Sunday afternoon as investigators began to determine what caused 28 cars to derail.
The derailment near Springfield, Ohio, about 80 miles northeast of Cincinnati, around 5 p.m. local time, authorities said, did not contain any hazardous materials.
The 212-car train was traveling from Bellevue, Ohio, to Birmingham, Ala., and was operated by Norfolk Southern, the same railroad that faced scrutiny last month after a catastrophic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
The derailment raised concerns about air and water quality after the controlled burning of toxic chemicals that officials believed posed an explosion hazard. Saturday’s crash renewed concerns about rail safety and Norfolk Southern’s performance.
“It’s truly outrageous,” said Republican Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio.Meet the press” Sunday. “Fortunately, it looks like we may have missed a bullet in this one.”
Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said, “This week“The train that derailed on Saturday was at least 50 cars longer than the train that derailed in eastern Palestine,” it said on Sunday.
“The railroad has a lot of questions they need to answer, and they haven’t really done a good job of it yet,” he said.
District and State Health and Environmental Authorities Press conference on Sunday He said there was no danger to the public from the derailment near Springfield. Officials issued a precautionary stay-at-home order for those living within 1,000 feet of the crash site, which was lifted early Sunday morning.
Charles Patterson, health commissioner for the Clark County Unified Health District, said there have been “multiple sweeps by multiple groups” to rule out the presence of chemicals in the soil, air and water. Anne Vogel, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, said no chemicals or hazardous materials were released.
Norfolk Southern’s general manager Kraig Barner said Sunday that 28 cars of the train derailed. The company had earlier reported that 20 cars were derailed. The two crew members on the boat were not injured, he said.
The train had four tankers carrying non-hazardous materials, Mr. Barner said. Two contained residual amounts of diesel exhaust fluid, and the other contained residual amounts of polyacrylamide aqueous solution. A hopper carrying non-toxic plastic pellets derailed and spilled some of them.
The rest of the train consisted of two liquid propane and ethanol tankers and cars containing mixed cargo, steel and finished automobiles that did not derail, Mr. Barner said.
On Sunday evening, more than 50 people were left without power due to derailment and downed power lines. The last coach was removed from the accident site at around 3pm on Sunday, Mr. Norfolk Southern estimates another 12 hours of track work remains, Barner said.
Officials said the cause of the accident was not immediately known and the Central Railway Administration would investigate. Representatives of the administration could not be reached on Sunday.
Shawn Heaton was running errands on Saturday when the gates came down on a railroad crossing. He said he was scrolling through his phone while waiting for a train to pass when he was startled by a sudden loud thunder.
Mr. Heaton saw.
“It didn’t really register and then I saw the cars actually go sideways,” he said. “I thought, I’d better get out of here, because this could go really bad, really fast.”
Mr. Heaton described the area where the train derailed near the crossing between the gravel pits, the pond and the Clark County Fairgrounds. He said he immediately recalled the hazardous materials involved in the derailment in East Palestine, more than 200 miles northeast of Springfield, after leaving the scene of Saturday’s accident.
“When I got home, the first thing I did was check the wind direction on my phone to make sure we were upwind,” Mr. Heaton said. “It’s just crazy, the things that can go through your mind.”