Ohio authorities say there is no indication of any public health risk from the derailment of a Norfolk Southern cargo train between Dayton and Columbus, the second derailment of a railroad company in the state in a month.
Norfolk South and Clark County officials say 28 of the 212 cars on the southbound train, including four empty tankers, derailed at about 4:45 p.m. Saturday in Springfield Township near the business park and at the county fairgrounds. Springfield is located about 46 miles (74 kilometers) west of the state capital of Columbus.
As a precaution, residents living within 1,000 feet (305 meters) were asked to shelter in place and responding firefighters dispatched the county’s hazmat team as a precaution, but those officials earlier Sunday said “there is no indication of any harm or risk to public health at this time.”
A crew from Norfolk Southern, the hazmat team and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency “each independently examined the crash site and confirmed there was no evidence of spillage at the site,” officials said.
Officials confirmed Sunday afternoon that no hazardous materials were involved in the derailment.
Norfolk Southern general manager Kraig Barner said, however, that a couple of other cars on the train from Bellevue, Ohio, to Birmingham, Alabama, were carrying liquid propane, and a a couple more bring ethanol. The rest of the train is made up of mixed cargo, such as steel and finished cars, he said.
“A lot of the cars that derailed were actually empty boxcars,” Barner said.
Officials said two of the four empty tanker cars that derailed earlier were carrying diesel exhaust fluid and the other two had residual amounts of polyacrylamide water solution, which Barner said is a commonly used additive. in wastewater treatment.
County officials say environmental officials have confirmed the derailment is not near a protected water source, meaning there is no risk to public water systems or private wells. The stay-at-home order only affected four or five homes, officials said.
No injuries to the public or the two-person train crew were reported, he said. The cause of the derailment is being investigated and the findings will be turned over to the Federal Railroad Administration, Barner said.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Saturday night that President Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called him “to provide assistance from the federal government.”
On February 3, 38 cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train in East Palestine, in northeastern Ohio near Pennsylvania, derailed and several of the train cars carrying hazardous materials caught fire.
Although no one was injured, the neighboring areas of both states are at risk. The crash prompted the evacuation of about half of the town’s nearly 5,000 residents, an ongoing multigovernmental emergency response and remains a concern of the villagers of long-term health effects.
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