SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — About 20 cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed near Springfield Saturday night, the second derailment of the company’s trains in Ohio in a month, authorities said.
But unlike the February 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, a company spokesperson told NBC News there were no hazardous materials on board.
The Clark County Emergency Management Agency said earlier in the evening that officials were working to confirm the company’s report on the materials. On Saturday night, in a tweet shared by the agency, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said, «We do not believe hazardous materials were involved.»
No injuries were reported when about 20 cars of the 212-car train derailed while traveling southbound near Springfield, a Norfolk Southern spokesman said. Springfield is about 46 miles west of the state capital of Columbus, Ohio.
«Our crews are en route to the site to begin cleanup operations,» the company said.
The derailment, near the Clark County Fairgrounds, left more than 1,500 people without power, and the agency asked residents within 1,000 feet of the site to shelter in place, but said it has not issued formal orders. of evacuation.
shawn heaton told the Springfield News-Sun who was waiting at the intersection when the train crossed the intersection and captured the beginning of the derailment on video.
“I was right there and I was playing on my phone and then I heard a loud bang. And when I heard the loud bang, I started recording,» Heaton said. «When I heard the explosion, there was all kinds of debris and metal shooting out from under the cars and that’s when I started recording and you could see them start jumping off the tracks.»
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a tweet Saturday night that the Federal Railroad Administration informed him and spoke with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to offer support.
«No hazardous material releases have been reported, but we will continue to monitor closely and FRA personnel are on the way,» Buttigieg said.
On February 3, 38 cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train in East Palestine in northeastern Ohio near Pennsylvania derailed and several of the train cars carrying hazardous materials burned.
Although no one was injured, nearby neighborhoods in both states were in danger. The accident prompted the evacuation of about half of the town’s roughly 5,000 residents, an ongoing multi-governmental emergency response, and lingering concerns among villagers about long-term health impacts.
joe kottke and Elizabeth Malina contributed.