NTSB to Investigate Safety at Norfolk Southern

NTSB to Examine Security at Norfolk Southern

Contractors with Norfolk Southern take away wreckage from the practice derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 16. (Matthew Hatcher/Bloomberg)

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Within the wake of three high-profile freight practice accidents inside the final month, together with one which precipitated environmental injury in East Palestine, Ohio, and one other that killed the conductor, the Nationwide Transportation Security Board introduced March 7 it’s opening a particular investigation into the protection practices of Norfolk Southern Corp.

Shortly after the NTSB announcement, the Division of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) mentioned it is going to conduct its personal 60-day evaluation of Norfolk Southern’s railway security operations “following a number of security incidents.”

The FRA mentioned in an announcement it is going to take a broad take a look at the railroad’s operations, together with reviewing findings from a earlier security audit and offering regulatory oversight.

“We’re initiating this additional supplemental security evaluate of Norfolk Southern, whereas additionally calling on Norfolk Southern to behave urgently to enhance its concentrate on security so the corporate can start incomes again the belief of the general public and its workers,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned in an announcement.

Whereas Norfolk Southern has beforehand mentioned it locations a excessive worth on security, the NTSB urged Norfolk Southern to look inward and start corrective actions.

“Given the quantity and significance of latest Norfolk Southern accidents, the NTSB additionally urges the corporate to take speedy motion at this time to evaluate and assess its security practices, with the enter of workers and others, and implement essential modifications to enhance security,” the company mentioned in an announcement. “The continued secure operations of Norfolk Southern is significant to the US. The NTSB is anxious that a number of organizational components could also be concerned within the accidents, together with security tradition. The NTSB will conduct an in-depth investigation into the protection practices and tradition of the corporate. On the identical time, the corporate mustn’t wait to enhance security and the NTSB urges it to take action instantly.”

Whereas not unprecedented, NTSB particular investigations are uncommon. The final time the NTSB opened the sort of probe was virtually a decade in the past when it seemed into Metro-North Railroad, the commuter rail system that hyperlinks New York Metropolis with its northern suburbs.

The Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine despatched poisonous chemical compounds into the soil, close by creeks and air, and several other practice vehicles containing hazardous supplies burned for a number of days. NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy mentioned the derailment was “100% preventable” and it was “no accident.”

Residents of the east Ohio city 53 miles from Pittsburgh have complained about respiratory diseases, burning eyes and feeling sick because of being uncovered to the chemical compounds.

On March 6, the railroad mentioned 2,366 tons of waste soil have been eliminated for EPA-certified processing, and three.2 million gallons of water have been collected from the location, together with rainwater because it falls.

In response to the derailment, Norfolk Southern mentioned March 5 it’s growing using detectors positioned alongside railroad tracks to identify overheating bearings and different issues.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro mentioned the railroad has agreed to spend a number of million {dollars} to cowl the price of the clean-up and restoration in his state close to the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.

Only one month after that accident, on March 4, one other Norfolk Southern practice derailed close to Springfield, Ohio.

The railroad informed authorities that this incident didn’t contain hazardous supplies. However officers acknowledged days later that vehicles on the practice that didn’t derail did have hazardous contents.

The railroad had one other accident March 6 in Cleveland that left a railroad conductor lifeless when he was struck by a dump truck as his practice moved via a rail crossing on the Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Cleveland Works facility.

Talking after that accident the railroad’s president and CEO Alan Shaw mentioned he desires to rebuild the railroad’s security tradition.

“I known as collectively each member of our administration crew this afternoon to emphasise the urgency of discovering new options. Tomorrow (March 8) we’ll maintain security stand-down briefings reaching each worker throughout our community,” Shaw mentioned in an announcement. “Shifting ahead, we’re going to rebuild our security tradition from the bottom up. We’re going to make investments extra in security. This isn’t who we’re, it isn’t acceptable, and it’ll not proceed.”

The NTSB has despatched a crew of investigators to Cleveland to search out the reason for the newest accident.

The conductor who died was Louis Shuster, 46, of Cleveland. Along with his work at Norfolk Southern he was president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 607.

“Lou was a passionate and devoted union brother,” BLET Division 607 Native Chairman Pat Redmond mentioned in an announcement. “He was at all times there for his coworkers. He was very energetic in serving to veterans who labored on the railroad and veterans all throughout our group.”

The union mentioned it is going to be a celebration to the NTSB investigation and can help in any means it might.

Need extra information? Take heed to at this time’s day by day briefing beneath or go right here for more information:


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