Another Norfolk Southern freight train derails in Ohio, prompting shelter-in-place order

Clark County Emergency Management Agency asked residents 'to shelter-in-place out of an abundance of caution'

ByArtemis Moshtaghian and Samantha Beech, CNN, CNNWire
Sunday, March 5, 2023
Clark Co Norfolk Southern train derailment
A Norfolk Southern train derails in Springfield Ohio, no injuries, no hazardous materials on board

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- A Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in the Springfield, Ohio, area Saturday afternoon, prompting a shelter-in-place order for nearby residents -- just one month after the company's toxic train wreck on the other side of the state in East Palestine.

No injuries were reported Saturday and there was no hazmat situation at the crash site in Clark County, an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson told CNN. The derailment happened around 5 p.m. ET and the road was closed on State Route 41, the spokesperson added.

"Late this afternoon an @nscorp train derailed in Clark County. We don't believe hazardous materials were involved. @OhioEPA, @Ohio_EMA, & @OSHP are on scene supporting first responders. President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg called me to offer help from the federal government," Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said on Twitter Saturday night.

"I have been briefed by FRA leadership and spoke with Gov. DeWine to offer our support after the derailment today in Clark County, Ohio. No hazardous material release has been reported, but we will continue to monitor closely and FRA personnel are en route," Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg also tweeted.

Twenty cars of the 212-car Norfolk Southern train derailed while headed south in the Springfield area, Norfolk Southern spokesperson Connor Spielmaker told CNN.

"No hazardous materials are involved and there have been no reported injuries," Spielmaker said. "Our teams are enroute to the site to begin cleanup operations."

The company is working to find out what the train was transporting, Spielmaker added, confirming it was not a passenger train.

RELATED: East Palestine residents confront town leaders, Norfolk Southern

The Clark County Emergency Management Agency asked residents Saturday who were within 1,000 feet of the train derailment "to shelter-in-place out of an abundance of caution."

"We ask that all residents in need of travel to Ohio 41 find alternate routes. Local and state officials are on scene, including the Springfield Fire Rescue Division and the Springfield Police Department," the agency said in a Facebook update.

Clark County officials also said they were aware of power outages in the area due to downed power lines.

The derailment comes as crews were still working to clear the toxic wreck of another Norfolk Southern train that derailed on February 3 while carrying hazardous materials more than 200 miles away in East Palestine, Ohio.

ALSO SEE: Norfolk Southern CEO to testify before Senate next week and 'share what he knows' about derailment

The East Palestine derailment fueled outcry among residents who have complained of symptoms, including headaches and coughing after the fiery crash. The train was hauling dangerous chemical vinyl chloride -- which was released and burned to prevent a potentially deadly explosion -- and other chemicals that are feared to have leaked into the surrounding ecosystem.

Norfolk Southern has promised to fully clean up the wreck and vowed to invest in East Palestine.

The derailment has put rail safety under the spotlight and raised questions about regulations surrounding the transport of hazardous materials. Data from the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis shows there have been about 1,000 derailments in the United States each year since 2020.

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ABC7 Chicago contributed to this post.