Another Norfolk Southern cargo train derailed near Springfield, Ohio, this past weekend. This follows in the same month as Norfolk Southern’s derailment near East Palestine, Ohio, where hazardous chemicals were leaked into the surrounding environment. The non-passenger train derailed around 5 pm near the Clark County Fairgrounds, reports indicate.
However, the derailment that occurred Saturday night is reported to have no hazardous chemicals, according to a Norfolk Southern spokesman. Thomas Crosson, senior director of strategic communications, told the Columbus Dispatch that the company was coordinating with local authorities at the site and expected to have the wreckage cleared as soon as possible. A cause for the crash has not been determined as of Sunday, but an investigation is ongoing. “No hazardous materials are involved, and there have been no reported injuries. Our teams are en route to the site to begin cleanup operations,” Crosson said.
Over 20 of the train’s 212 cars derailed while traveling southbound. The State Highway Patrol said roads were closed surrounding the derailment site. Officials are urging residents to seek alternative routes. Shawn Heaton told the Springfield News-Sun he was in his car by the railroad tracks and actually captured the beginning of the derailment on video. Heaton said, “I was right there and I was playing on my phone and then I heard a loud bang. And when I heard the loud bang, I started recording. When I heard the bang, there was all kinds of debris and metal shoot out from under the cars and that’s when I started recording and you could see them start jumping off the tracks.”
The Clark County Ohio, Facebook page posted the most recent updates regarding the incident:
UPDATE (9:45 p.m., Sunday, March 5): Norfolk Southern will be completing repairs on the affected railroad at Ohio 41 early tomorrow morning and it is expected to reopen at that time.
Ohio 41 remains closed between Gateway Blvd. and the Clark County Fairgrounds until further notice.
UPDATE (9 p.m., Sunday, March 5): A portion of Ohio 41 remains closed between Gateway Blvd. and the Clark County Fairgrounds as crews continue to complete emergency repairs at the crossing after a train derailment occurred in Springfield Twp. on Saturday afternoon. Traffic can still access Prime Ohio Industrial Park from the north.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has posted the following official detours:
Northbound: I-70 west to S.R. 72 north to S.R. 41 north
Southbound: S.R. 72 south to I-70 east to S.R. 41 south
Norfolk Southern has not released an extensive statement about the Springfield derailment as of yet. However, in a statement regarding the East Palestine derailment, the company said:
At Norfolk Southern, our highest priority is the safety of our people and the communities and customers we serve. Under the supervision of the Federal Railroad Administration, the company has inspected all wayside detectors in the area of the incident and found they were operating as designed. Out of an abundance of caution, Norfolk Southern is now inspecting all of the nearly 1,000 wayside heat detectors on its system – on top of the regular inspection of the detectors every 30 days.
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