US probes safety record of Norfolk Southern

US probes safety record of Norfolk Southern

US probes safety record of Norfolk Southern

The U.S. transportation regulator announced a special investigation on March 7 into the safety record of Norfolk Southern Railway, a month after one of its trains derailed and released toxic chemicals in an Ohio town.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced the probe following the death on March 5 of a Norfolk Southern employee in a work accident, the company’s third such incident since late 2021.

The NTSB said it would investigate the railway’s organization and safety culture, “given the number and significance of recent Norfolk Southern accidents.”

It pointed to five serious accidents: The three work-related deaths since December 2021 and two derailments this year.

The company drew widespread criticism for its Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, where a freight train spilled hazardous materials, including the carcinogenic chemical vinyl chloride.

The accident sparked a fire that released dangerous smoke and gases into the community.

Authorities were forced to conduct a controlled release of the vinyl chloride to avoid a possible explosion.

Critics called the accident preventable, and called for a probe of the company, which has more than 18,000 employees and 31,060 kilometers of rail.

Another Norfolk Southern train derailed on March 4 near Springfield, Ohio.

“The NTSB is concerned that several organizational factors may be involved in the accidents, including safety culture,” it said in a statement.


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