Home News The initial report provides new details about a US train derailment

The initial report provides new details about a US train derailment

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The crew of a derailed freight train in East Palestine, Ohio, received a dangerous axle overheating warning before dozens of cars were derailed, according to US federal security investigators.

An engineer slowed and stopped the train after receiving a “critical audible alert message,” according to a preliminary report Thursday from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The report stated that the crew then saw fire and smoke and was alerted of a possible derailment.

The report says the axle on which the investigators focused was heating up while the train was traveling on the tracks, but that its temperature only reached the threshold for stopping and inspecting the train just before the train derailed.

The train was traveling at 75 km/h (47 mph) at the time, just under the 80 km/h (50 mph) speed limit, according to safety investigators.

“I am so sorry for the traumatic event you are going through. It is devastating.

“But I can tell you this: It was 100% possible. We call things accidents. There are no accidents. Every event we investigate is preventable. So we are with you wholeheartedly.”

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary findings as Transportation Minister Pete Buttigieg visited eastern Palestine for the first time on a field visit.

The derailment on February 3 prompted evacuations and concerns about air and water pollution after the controlled burning of toxic chemicals intended to prevent an explosion.

The government is facing intense scrutiny of the federal response to the derailment. The White House defended its response, saying that officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, NTSP, and other agencies were at the rural site hours after the derailment.

The White House says it has also provided federal assistance, and FEMA is coordinating with the state’s Emergency Operations Center and other partners.

Buttigieg has drawn criticism for not visiting the site sooner, including from former President Donald Trump, who visited Ohio on Wednesday. The ministère des Transports a declaré that Buttigieg était en visite maintenant que l’Agence America de protection de l’environnement (EPA) a noncé que la phase d’urgence de l’effondrement était terminée et que des efforts de nettoyage à long term étaient current.

Heather Babel, who lives two blocks from the railroad exit site, said she was relieved that senior government officials had finally shown up.

“We need that attention because we just didn’t get it. They should have been there the whole time,” said Babel, who was among the crowd of locals who lined the streets in pouring rain to greet Trump on Wednesday.

Buttigieg’s reception was more muted, with little fanfare in the city of fewer than 5,000 people. Trump won about 72% of the vote in this heavily Republican district in the 2020 election.

Buttigieg’s visit came nearly three weeks after more than thirty freight cars — including 11 carrying hazardous materials — derailed in the eastern suburbs of Palestine near the Pennsylvania state line, causing evacuations as fears grew of a possible explosion of smoldering debris. .

In an effort to avoid an out-of-control explosion, authorities deliberately released and burned toxic vinyl chloride from five train cars, sending flames and black smoke into the sky. People have been left wondering about the potential health effects, even as authorities insist they are doing their best to protect people.

As repairs to the site continue, the Norfolk Southern Railroad announced Wednesday night that it had agreed to excavate the ground under two tracks. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has decried the railroad’s failure to treat the polluted soil beneath its tracks before repairing it and getting freight working again.

Our initial plan was to efficiently and safely repair the ground beneath our tracks. “Listening to members of the community over the past two weeks, they have shared their concerns about this approach,” Norfolk President and CEO Alan H. Shaw said in a written statement.

US Democratic Representative Chris DeLuzio, whose county in Pennsylvania borders the disaster site in eastern Palestine, asked Norfolk Southern to expand the boundaries of the geographic area in which it offers financial aid and testing. Noting that the current district excludes many affected Pennsylvanians and businesses, he said the company must commit to cleaning up soil and water up to 30 miles (48 kilometers) outside of it.

“Norfolk Southern shows no commitment to rebuilding the lost trust in our community,” DeLuzio wrote in a letter to Shaw.

The additional resources, he said, “will help your business restore the sense of security destroyed by the Norfolk Southern Derailment and its aftermath.”

Meanwhile, the speaker of the Ohio Senate has announced a public derailment hearing next week to hear testimony from state officials.

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