A Norfolk Southern train is en route on February 14, 2023 in East Palestine, Ohio. Another train operated by the company derailed on February 3, releasing toxic fumes and forcing evacuation of residents. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 6:30 PM PT – Tuesday, March 7, 2023
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) agency will be instigating a thorough investigation into Norfolk Southern’s safety protocols as the company continues to face rising scrutiny following the string of train derailments that happened last month in East Palestine, Ohio.
The NTSB said in a recent press release that they will be starting a special investigation into the company and its safety-related business measures, ultimately citing the number of issues and significance of current incidents revolving around Norfolk Southern.
“The NTSB is concerned that several organizational factors may be involved in the accidents, including safety culture. The NTSB will conduct an in-depth investigation into the safety practices and culture of the company,” the agency said in a posted statement.
The derailed train in question was carrying extremely toxic chemicals that were dispersed into the air and water, instilling stress and fear in both environmentalists and local individuals with public health concerns and worries of what kind of aftermath this will bring on the community.
To make matters worse, a second train was also derailed in the state last week, but fortunately this train was empty and there were no reports of any injuries.
The NTSB has stated that they have sent out investigators to the sites of five prior accidents which they considered to be significant involving Norfolk Southern since 2021. Sadly, one of these incidents included a recent death of a Norfolk Southern employee that happened on Tuesday.
Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan Shaw expressed how he is unaware of the cause of this recent accident that has resulted in an employee’s death. However, he will continue to fully cooperate with the NTSB and help them in their investigation any way that he can.
“I called together every member of our management team this afternoon to emphasis urgency of finding new solutions. Tomorrow we will hold safety stand-down briefings reaching every employee across our network,” Alan Shaw explained.
Lawmakers are now implementing new legislation during this federal investigation to expand and increase railing regulations while amplifying safety protocols. However, some Senate members have expressed opposition because of their distrust in the Transportation department.