Just as Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw was set to speak before Congress about the toxic chemical spill in Palestine, OH earlier last month, another of the company’s trains derailed – this time in Alabama.
It has been reported that 37 cars came off the tracks. Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency has said via their Facebook account that at this time that no spillage of hazardous materials and no injuries have been reported.
The accident occurred in a heavily wooded area near the Iron City Motorway at around 6:45 am Thursday morning as the train traveled from Atlanta, GA to Meridian, MI.
An agency representative issued a statement, saying, “Norfolk Southern has responded and is working closely with us. Norfolk Southern has their cleanup crew on site and there is no estimation on how long it will take.”
When questioned about the third derailment in less that a month, Connor Spielmaker, spokesperson for Norfolk Southern, said that they were looking into what could have gone wrong and are “figuring out how we can become even safer.” In what could be viewed as an attempt at deflection, he went on to say “Derailments are a very loose term. Derailment could mean as little as one wheel off the track. So as far as an increase, decrease, I can’t really get into that.”
At this time it is not clear what caused the derailment.
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation of Norfolk Southern Railway’s safety practices following a series of derailments and other “significant accidents,” such as the recent fatal strike of a conductor.