EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Federal data shows Norfolk Southern Railroad has averaged about 260 accidents per year since 2018, according to a 10 Investigates’ review of federal railroad data.
A separate analysis of federal railroad data by 10 Investigates showed that Norfolk Southern trains have derailed in 36 Ohio counties dating back to 2007.
While many of those incidents were minor, a derailment in Columbus in July of 2012 prompted a fire and an evacuation. The National Transportation Safety Board later determined that the rail itself broke causing the train to derail.
It was just on example cited by U.S. Senators at the time as part of a call for increased rail safety measures nearly a decade ago.
Now following the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, those calls for change are being renewed.
Ahead of Thursday’s visit by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the Biden administration has published a list of changes it would like to see imposed in wake of the East Palestine derailment.
Among the changes, the U.S. Department of Transportation is pushing for include:
- The phasing-in of newer tank cars to replace aging DOT 111s that are set to be retired
- Paid leave for railroad workers
- Providing advance notice to state emergency responders of hazardous materials being shipped through by rail
- Increased inspections of high hazard flammable trains and other trains carrying high volumes of hazardous materials.
Former President Donald Trump visited East Palestine Wednesday where he provided bottle water and criticized the Biden administration for its response.
He told visitors in East Palestine that they “will not be forgotten” and said he could return at a later date.
The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to release its preliminary report Thursday into what may have caused the Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine to derail. The derailment caused a massive five, followed by an evacuation and controlled release of chemicals.
Residents have expressed concern about their health and safety in wake of the release of chemicals into nearby streams and soil. The monitoring of air, water and soil have continued.
10 Investigates emailed questions to a Norfolk Southern spokesman earlier Wednesday. We will let you know when we hear back.
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