Train crashes in Clark County; fourth Norfolk Southern derailment in Ohio in five months
A Norfolk Southern train derailed Saturday evening in Clark County — the fourth time a Norfolk Southern train has derailed in Ohio in recent months.
Here's what we know right now:
- About 20 of the 212 cars jumped track about 4:45 p.m. Saturday near State Route 41 and Gateway Boulevard, by the Clark County Fairgrounds and the Prime Ohio Corporate Park.
- Multiple agencies have confirmed this latest crash didn't involve any hazardous chemicals.
- No one was injured.
- This crash comes about a month after a catastrophic derailment in East Palestine on Feb. 3 led to a town evacuation, massive fires and lingering environmental and health questions.
The train wasn't carrying hazardous materials, according to a Norfolk Southern spokesperson.
"There is NO risk to the public," spokesperson Connor Spielmaker said on Twitter.
Crews from the Clark County Hazmat team and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have each independently examined the train crash site in Springfield Twp. and said they found no evidence of spillage at the site.
Two tankers contained residual amounts of diesel exhaust fluid and another two tankers contained residual amounts of polyacrylamide water solution, the Clark County Emergency Management Agency said in a news release. According to Norfolk Southern, these are non-hazardous materials. They also say these materials are commonly shipped via rail.
The Clark County EMA had asked residents within 1,000 feet of the derailment to shelter in place Saturday night "out of an abundance of caution."
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter he had been briefed on the crash and spoke with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to offer support.
"No hazardous material release has been reported, but we will continue to monitor closely and (Federal Railroad Administration) personnel are en route," he said.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, issued a statement on Saturday night calling for the passage of the Railway Safety Act, legislation that he's proposed with U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio.
"Sandusky, Steubenville, East Palestine, and now Springfield — four Norfolk Southern derailments in less than five months ... Ohio communities should not be forced to live in fear of another disaster," Brown said. "It’s unacceptable — it’s why we must pass my bipartisan Railway Safety Act with Senator Vance, now."
More than 1,500 customers lost power due to downed lines. As of 9 a.m. Sunday, about 100 customers remained without power. Ohio Edison estimated they would be restored by 10 a.m. Sunday.
The county EMA also asked drivers to avoid the area. State Route 41 is expected to remain closed until further notice. A detour is posted.
Multiple Clark County and Ohio agencies responded Saturday evening, including the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Springfield Twp. Fire Department, Springfield Fire/Rescue Division, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Springfield Police Division.
DeWine tweeted Saturday night that both Buttigieg and President Joe Biden had reached out to him to offer support.