Ohio: 20 Norfolk Southern freight cars derailed

SPRING, Ohio –

Officials said about 20 cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed near Springfield on Saturday night, the second derailment for the company’s trains in Ohio in a month.

But unlike the February 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, a company spokesman said there were no hazardous materials on board, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

The train without passengers derailed around 5 p.m. Saturday on Highway 41, near the Clark County Fairgrounds, Dispatch reported. Springfield is about 46 miles (74 km) west of the state capital of Columbus, Ohio.

A spokesman for Norfolk Southern said 20 carriages of the 212-car train derailed while traveling south.

Shawn Heaton told the Springfield News-Sun that he was waiting at the intersection when the train crossed the intersection and captured the scene that began to derail on video.

“I was right there playing on my phone when I heard a big bang. And when I heard a big bang, I started recording,” Heaton said. “When I heard the explosion, there was all sorts of debris and metal coming out of the undercarriages of the cars and that’s when I started recording and you could see them starting to jump off the tracks.”

Clark County Emergency Management has asked residents to be within 1,000 feet of the derailment to shelter in place, but the agency said it has not issued a formal evacuation order.

In an update at 8:50 p.m. EDT, the agency said officials were working to ensure that no hazardous materials were involved.

On February 3, 38 cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train in East Palestine, northeast of Ohio near Pennsylvania, derailed and several cars of the train carrying hazardous materials caught fire.

Although no one was injured, nearby settlements in both states were threatened. The accident has displaced about half the residents of the town of about 5,000 people, an ongoing multi-government emergency response and lingering concerns among villagers about the long-term health effects.

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