HomeNewsOhio Train Derailment: New Details Emerge On What May Have Caused the Disaster

Ohio Train Derailment: New Details Emerge On What May Have Caused the Disaster

by Samantha Whidden
Ohio Train Derailment
(Photo by US Environmental Protection Agency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Nearly three weeks after a train derailment caused major issues in and around the town of East Palestine, Ohio, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a new report that reveals what may have caused the February 3rd disaster. 

According to Fox News, the NTSB’s report reveals that the operators of the Norfolk Southern train involved in the Ohio derailment received a “critical audible alarm” message. This message stated the crew to slow down and stop the train to inspect a hot axle. 

Upon hearing the warning from the hot bearing detector on Train 32N, the train’s engineer notably increased the dynamic brake application. This was to further slow and stop the train. “The function of the HBD is to detect overheated bearings and provide audible real-time warnings to train crews,” the report states. “Train 32N passed three HBD systems on its trip before the derailment.”

Meanwhile, NTSB reveals more details about what happened after the train derailment in Ohio. “After the train stopped, the crew observed fire and smoke,” the report further states. “And notified the Cleveland East dispatcher of a possible derailment.”

After receiving authorization from the dispatch, the crew applied handbrakes to the two railcars at the head of the train. They also uncoupled the head-end locomotives. The crew then moved the locomotives about a mile from the uncoupled railcars. “Responder arrived at the derailment site and began response efforts.”

Norfolk Southern Shares Details About the Amount of Contaminated Water and Soil Has Been Removed From the Ohio Train Derailment Area 

According to a February 20th press release, Norfolk Southern said around 4,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil and 1.5 million gallons of contaminated water have been removed from the Ohio train derailment site.

The material was going to landfills and disposal facilities. The sites are accepting the soil and water safely, per state and federal regulations. 

“Additionally, a series of pumps have been placed upstream to reroute Sulphur Run around the derailment site. The affected portion of Sulphur Run has been dammed to protect water downstream,” the company stated.

The company further explained that environmental teams are treating the area with booms, aeration, and carbon filtration units. The teams are also working with stream experts to collect soil and ground water samples. The samples will be creating a plan to address any issues in the area around the site.

Meanwhile, most of the rail cars that had hazardous materials no longer have contamination issues at the site. The cars are still on-site so that the NTSB can continue its investigation. “Once that is completed, the cars will be scrapped and moved off-site for disposal,” Norfolk Southern added. 

Alan H. Shaw, the CEO of Norfolk Southern also issued a statement. “I want residents of East Palestine to know that Norfolk Southern will be in their community to help for as long as needed. Our new community liaison is a Norfolk Southern employee and resident of East Palestine. He will be an advocate for the community with a direct line to me and our senior leadership team.”