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NTSB reviewing Norfolk Southern train derailment in Clark County

John Dobson
March 4, about 30 cars from a 212 car-Norfolk Southern train derailed in Springfield Township. No injuries, no toxic chemical spills.

An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board is in Clark County today to look into the Norfolk Southern train derailment in Springfield Twp. and another investigator is on their way to the crash site.

Almost 30 of the train’s 212 cars jumped the track on Saturday evening at the railroad crossing on Gateway Boulevard near the Clark County Fairgrounds. The train was traveling from Bellevue, Ohio, to Birmingham, Alabama.

The NTSB investigators will look at the condition of the track, the mechanical condition of the train, operations, the position of the cars in the train, and signal and train control, among other things.

They will also collect event recorder data and on-board image recorders, as well as interview the crew and other witnesses.

A preliminary report will be available in about three weeks.

No one was injured, According to Clark County Emergency Management Agency.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says no hazardous materials spilled onto the ground nor escaped into the air. Ohio EPA Director Ann Vogel wants area residents to know her team is closely monitoring all activities.

Local health and Norfolk Southern officials also emphasized that they found no hazardous contamination.

"We're looking at clean air, clean soil and clean water," Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said. "There have been multiple sweeps by multiple teams."

The derailment in Clark County comes about a month after a catastrophic crash in East Palestine, Ohio, that has lead to lingering health and environmental concerns.

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.