Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Saturday night, residents of Ohio got a chilling reminder of the tragedy that only recently befell East Palestine. Another train, one also belonging to Norfolk Southern, derailed in the state.
This time, the company says no deadly toxins were aboard.
According to a statement circulated through media by Norfolk Southern, the derailment occurred near Springfield and involved 20 of a 212-car train. As of this writing, it remains unclear what caused the accident.
“No hazardous materials are involved and there have been no reported injuries,” the Norfolk Southern statement read. “Our teams are en route to the site to begin cleanup operations.”
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg each confirmed on Twitter that the accident occurred and said that adequate resources were available to address the issue.
“Late this afternoon an @nscorp train derailed in Clark County,” DeWine tweeted. “We don’t believe hazardous materials were involved. @OhioEPA, @Ohio_EMA, & @OSHP are on scene supporting first responders. President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg called me to offer help from the federal government.”
Late this afternoon an @nscorp train derailed in Clark County. We don’t believe hazardous materials were involved. @OhioEPA, @Ohio_EMA, & @OSHP are on scene supporting first responders. President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg called me to offer help from the federal government.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 5, 2023
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) expressed dismay that four trains had derailed in his state in just five months and called for Republicans and Democrats to rally together and pass a new law he recently proposed along with five other lawmakers.
“Sandusky, Steubenville, East Palestine, and now Springfield — all in the last five months,” Brown tweeted. “This is unacceptable. It’s why we must pass my bipartisan Rail Safety Act now.”
The proposed law enjoys the support of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate as well as President Joe Biden.
Were it to pass, the Rail Safety Act would, among other things, require rail carriers to declare to officials what they are carrying aboard their trains and increase inspections for trains carrying hazardous material.
Brown, who appeared on ABC’s “This Week” program, has pledged to bring more accountability to the nation’s railways.
“The railroads got a lot of questions they’ve got to answer, and they really haven’t done it very well, yet,” Brown said during his “This Week” appearance.
Spoke to @ThisWeekABC this morning about how our bipartisan bill will hold companies like Norfolk Southern accountable and help prevent more derailments like the one we saw last night in Springfield. pic.twitter.com/ZHgYJogMjH
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) March 5, 2023
Brown, and others on both sides of the aisle, have been far less kind about Norfolk Southern’s efforts to clean up in East Palestine.
“Big corporations like Norfolk Southern have been taking advantage of places like East Palestine for decades. No more — we’re holding them accountable,” Brown tweeted last week.
Brown’s counterpart, Republican Sen. J.D. Vance largely concurs — in fact, was one of the lawmakers to co-sponsor the Rail Safety Act with Brown — although Vance also blames the Biden Administration for having been slow to respond to the East Palestine derailment.
“You want leaders to actually show up and let people know that they care, and that’s one of the ways in which the Biden administration has been a totally catastrophic failure,” Vance posted on Twitter.
WATCH: Senator @JDVance1 rips Joe Biden's neglect of the people in East Palestine, OH
"You want leaders to actually show up and let people know that they care, and that's one of the ways in which the Biden administration has been a totally catastrophic failure." pic.twitter.com/020IrWGy9j
— Senator Vance Press Office (@SenVancePress) March 4, 2023
Residents in Clark County, the site of the most recent derailment, were asked to shelter in place during the immediate aftermath of the Saturday derailment.
Some power outages were reported and the Federal Aviation Administration canceled flight restrictions over Springfield until Tuesday.