Early Thursday morning a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Alabama just hours before the railway company’s CEO was set to appear before Congress to make an apology for last month’s disastrous derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, that resulted in gallons of toxic chemicals being released into the air.
In the most recent incident, 37 train cars derailed in the White Plains area.
Fortunately, no one was injured and Norfolk Southern has assured the public that there is no danger to the public.
“Everybody is safe,” Sheriff Matthew Wade reported. “They have already amassed a large crew of people, and they have cranes, and they are feverishly working.”
Later Thursday morning, Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw testified on Capitol Hill about the East Palestine derailment that contaminated 1.1 million gallons of water and 15,000 pounds of soil.
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Shaw faced harsh criticism from Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and JD Vance (R-Ohio), accusing him of cutting costs and prioritizing profits over safety.
“It shouldn’t take a train derailment for elected officials to put partisanship aside and work together for the people we serve – not corporations like Norfolk Southern,” Brown said. “Lobbyists for the rail companies spent years fighting every effort to strengthen rules to make our trains and rail lines safer. Now Ohioans are paying the price.”
In his statement, Shaw apologized for the destruction the derailment caused to the surrounding areas. He said, “I want to begin today by expressing how deeply sorry I am for the impact this derailment has had on the residents of East Palestine and the surrounding communities.”
Shaw also pledged millions of dollars to help East Palestine recover from the environmental disaster, vowing that his company will “clean the site thoroughly, and with urgency.”
“I’m terribly sorry for the impact this derailment has had on the folks of that community,” Shaw said. “We’re going to be there for as long as it takes to help East Palestine thrive and recover.”
“I am going to see this through,” added Shaw. “There are no strings attached to our assistance – if residents have a concern, we want them to come talk to us. I pledge that we won’t be finished until we make it right.”