Alabama train derailment contained toxic materials, but no danger to public, owner say

Published 9:22 pm Sunday, April 9, 2023

Norfolk Southern said Sunday that a train derailment in Alabama did not involve toxic materials and did not create danger for the public. Workers were cleaning up diesel fuel and engine oil that spilled from the locomotive.

Norfolk Southern said in a statement Sunday that the derailment of a locomotive and 11 train cars happened Saturday night in Jasper, reported. The company said two of the train’s crew members were briefly trapped in the engine room, and that they were treated at a hospital and released.

Jasper is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Birmingham.

“During the derailment, the locomotive rolled onto its side and as a result spilled some diesel fuel and engine oil,” the railroad said Sunday. “Norfolk Southern crews have responded and have been working through the night on cleanup, and all of the involved cars have been cleared from the track.”

The derailment happened weeks after several Norfolk Southern train cars went off the tracks March 9 in a rural area of Calhoun County, Alabama, which is northeast of Birmingham.

Norfolk Southern’s CEO apologized before Congress last month and pledged millions of dollars to help East Palestine, Ohio, after a Feb. 3 train derailment spilled hazardous chemicals into creeks and rivers. The federal government filed a lawsuit March 30 against Norfolk Southern over environmental damage caused in Ohio.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in March it will begin a broad look at Norfolk Southern’s safety culture — the first such investigation within the rail industry since 2014. The board said it has sent investigation teams to look into five significant accidents involving the company since December 2021.