NTSB Holds East Palestine Practice Derailment Hearings


The Nationwide Transportation Security Board launched thousands of pages of documents on Thursday in regards to the derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight practice in East Palestine, Ohio, offering the fullest account but of what led to the accident.

The company launched the trove of paperwork forward of a two-day listening to in East Palestine, which started on Thursday morning and is about to look at a number of facets of the derailment and the emergency response that adopted, together with the choice to conduct a managed burn of some poisonous chemical substances the practice was carrying.

The N.T.S.B. held a group assembly on Wednesday night time to area questions from residents, and the company’s chairwoman, Jennifer Homendy, opened the listening to on Thursday morning with a message for these affected by the derailment.

“Simply know that each one of us take into consideration you, not simply throughout this listening to, not simply in the course of the investigation, however nicely after our ultimate board report is issued,” she mentioned.

The N.T.S.B. had beforehand mentioned {that a} wheel bearing on one of many rail automobiles had overheated because the 149-car practice handed via Ohio on Feb. 3. The paperwork launched on Thursday supplied a extra detailed image of what occurred within the moments earlier than the practice left the tracks and the way officers responded to the derailment and the hearth that ensued.

In response to the paperwork, part of the rail automobile’s wheel set got here off, resulting in the derailment. The wheel bearing that overheated was discovered simply over 100 ft away from the purpose of derailment mendacity in a small, wooded space, and that it had “intensive thermal injury.”

In the end, 38 automobiles ended up derailing, together with 11 that contained hazardous supplies, in keeping with the protection board.

Within the aftermath of the accident and the managed burn, officers mentioned they’d not detected harmful ranges of chemical substances within the air or the municipal water system. However some folks skilled signs like rashes and complications, leaving residents to worry about potential long-term health risks stemming from the discharge of poisonous chemical substances.

The Justice Division sued Norfolk Southern in March over the derailment, and the N.T.S.B. opened a special investigation into security practices on the firm. The derailment has additionally prompted a bipartisan effort in Congress to go new rail security laws. At a Senate listening to in March, Norfolk Southern’s chief govt, Alan H. Shaw, told lawmakers that he was “deeply sorry” for the consequences of the derailment.

Daniel McGraw contributed reporting from East Palestine, Ohio.


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