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Norfolk Southern Train Derails in Alabama as CEO Testifies in Congress Over Ohio Disaster

This April 2, 2021, file photo shows freight train cars and containers at Norfolk Southern Railroad’s Conway Yard in Conway, Pa. InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – A Norfolk Southern train has derailed in Calhoun County, Alabama. No hazardous materials were released as a result of the accident and the public is not in danger.The train originated in Atlanta, Georgia, and was heading west when it derailed in Alabama.Norfolk Southern has sent up cleanup crews on the site but officials said they cannot estimate how long the process will take.This is the third derailment of the company’s trains since last month. Over the weekend, 28 cars derailed in Springfield, Ohio, but Norfolk Southern’s general manager of operations Kraig Barner insisted that none of the derailed cars were carrying hazardous material.The accident took place as Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw was set to testify in Congress on the derailment of a company train in East Palestine, Ohio, that carried hazardous materials.AmericasNorfolk Southern Unveils Safety Plan After Another Train Derails in Ohio7 March, 02:58 GMTIn prepared remarks released before a Senate hearing, Shaw said he was “determined to make it right” for the residents of East Palestine, as locals are increasingly worried about the possible health implications as well as environmental damage from the accident.The Norfolk Southern CEO apologized and reiterated a pledge of more than $21 million in relief for his company’s train derailment that resulted in the release of toxic chemicals.”I want to begin today by expressing how deeply sorry I am for the impact this derailment has had on the residents of East Palestine and the surrounding communities,” Shaw said at a hearing dedicated to the incident held by the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.Shaw added that he personally committed that Norfolk Southern “will clean the site safely, thoroughly, and with urgency” in collaboration with the EPA and local and state agencies.Shaw reiterated “direct investments of over $21 million” in “community support.” This included, in part, a $1 million fund for community leaders to direct donations, $7.5 million for a community relief fund in Pennsylvania, and reimbursements for costs related to the derailment to Pennsylvanian emergency responders, and health and environmental agencies. He also announced that one of the company’s frontline railroaders who was an East Palestine resident would take on a new position as a community advocate and liaison reporting directly to his office and overseeing the distribution of another $1 million.Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey and Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and JD Vance condemned the “lackluster” responses from the EPA and Norfolk Southern. They accused the company of prioritizing profits over safety and vowed to hold it responsible. They also reiterated bipartisan support for their new bill, Railroad Safety Act of 2023.On February 3, a train hauling 20 cars with hazardous materials from Norfolk Southern derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. A big fire erupted due to the derailment, leading to officials to burn the vinyl chloride inside of five of the tanker cars in order to avoid a catastrophic explosion. The accident released toxic chemicals, including hydrogen chloride, phosgene, butyl acrylate and ethylene, into the environment.


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