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Norfolk Southern train derails in Springfield, Ohio; no hazardous materials aboard, railway company says

Second Norfolk Southern train derails in Ohio
Video captures moment another Norfolk Southern train derailed in Ohio 02:07

Nearby residents were asked to shelter in place after a Norfolk Southern train derailed near a highway in the Springfield, Ohio, area on Saturday.

Norfolk Southern confirmed in a statement to CBS News that 20 cars of a 212-car train derailed. The railway company said there were no hazardous materials aboard the train, and there were no reported injuries.  

Residents within 1,000 feet of the derailment were asked to shelter-in-place out of an "abundance of caution," the Clark County Emergency Management Agency reported. The derailment occurred near State Route 41.

The derailment left more than 1,500 residents without power, Clark County reported. 

Norfolk Southern train derails in Springfield, Ohio; no toxic materials aboard, railway company saysNorfolk Southern train derails in Springfield, Ohio; no toxic materials aboard, railway company says
A Norfolk Southern train which derailed in Springfield, Ohio. March 4, 2023.  Jon Shawhan/Twitter

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted Saturday night that he had been briefed by Federal Railroad Administration staff about the derailment, and had also spoken to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. 

"No hazardous material release has been reported, but we will continue to monitor closely and FRA personnel are en route," Buttigieg said. 

In a tweet, DeWine said that, along with speaking to Buttigieg, he also received a phone call from President Biden. DeWine reiterated that "we don't believe hazardous materials were involved." He said multiple state agencies were on scene. 

On Feb. 3, a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed in a fiery crash in East Palestine, Ohio. Of the 38 cars that derailed, about 10 contained hazardous materials. Hundreds of residents were evacuated, and crews later conducted a controlled release of toxic chemicals, including vinyl chloride, because of the risk that the derailment could cause an explosion.

State and federal officials have faced significant criticism over their response to the East Palestine incident, with local residents concerned that the contamination to the area could pose significant long-term health risks. Buttigieg was also criticized for not visiting East Palestine until three weeks after the derailment.   

The Environmental Protection Agency has so far said that air quality levels in East Palestine remain at safe levels. However, on Thursday the EPA said that it had ordered Norfolk Southern to conduct dioxin tests at the site of the derailment, and if those dioxin levels are found to be at unsafe levels, it would order an immediate cleanup. 

Springfield is located about 200 miles southwest of East Palestine.   

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