SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Authorities in Ohio said there was no evidence of any risk to the public’s health after a Norfolk Southern train derailed on Saturday.
A shelter-in-place order issued Saturday was lifted on Sunday, officials said.
Update 5:07 p.m. EST March 5: During a news conference on Sunday, Clark County officials described the aftermath of the derailment, WHIO-TV reported.
Springfield Township Fire Chief Dave Nangle said that since high-tension wires were hit during the derailment, power had to be cut off to make the area safe for cleanup crews, according to the television station.
Springfield hazmat crews and officials with Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency determined there was no leaking or spillage coming from the cars.
“After the research, they did a recon of the site and found nothing has spilled onto the ground … very minimal material on the actual cars themselves that actually dried very quickly,” Matthew Smith, the county’s hazmat coordinator, told reporters. “There is no spillage onto the ground or into the waterways at this time.”
Ann Vogel, director of Ohio EPA, also stated there was no hazardous material found, WHIO reported.
“There was no release of any chemical or any hazardous material to the soil, to the air, or to the water,” Vogel said.
The cause of the derailment is under investigation, Norfolk Southern spokesperson Kraig Barner said. No members of the crew or the public were injured, Barner said, according to The Washington Post.
Original report: Twenty of the train’s 212 cars derailed near the Clark County Fairgrounds at about 4:45 p.m. EST, according to WHIO. The southbound train included four tankers, according to The Associated Press.
Two of the derailed tankers contained residual amounts of diesel exhaust fluid, Springfield Township Fire Chief Dave Nangle said. The other two tankers were filled with polyacrylamide water solution, he said, according to CNN.
After the derailment, residents living within 1,000 feet of the train tracks were asked to shelter in place. On Sunday, officials said the train was not hauling any hazardous materials and there was “no indication of any injuries or risk to public health at this time,” according to the AP.
“No hazardous materials are involved,” a Norfolk Southern spokesperson said on Saturday, according to CNN.
When the train derailed on Saturday, Springfield Township Fire, Springfield Fire and Rescue, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Springfield Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Edison, and Ohio Emergency Management Agency all responded to the area, WHIO reported.
It was the second time a Norfolk Southern train had derailed in a month.
On Feb. 3, a Norfolk Southern Railway train carrying toxic chemicals derailed near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border just before 9 p.m. EST. Officials said 38 cars derailed and 12 others were damaged by fire.
In its initial report, the National Transportation Safety Board said the cars that contained hazardous materials ignited, causing 12 more cars to catch fire. As many as 2,000 residents were evacuated from the surrounding area as officials initially responded to the incident.
On Feb. 23, Jennifer Homendy, head of the NTSB, said that the train derailment was “100% preventable.”
“We call things accidents — there is no accident,” Homendy said. “Every single event that we investigate is preventable.”
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