NewsEast Palestine Train Derailment


NTSB launches special investigation into Norfolk Southern organization, safety culture

Announcement cites six "significant accidents" since December 2021
Train Derailment Ohio
Posted at 3:53 PM, Mar 07, 2023

Citing six “significant accidents” involving Norfolk Southern since December 2021, the National Transportation Safety Board announced Tuesday that it is opening a special investigation into the railway company’s “organization and safety culture.”

“Given the number and significance of recent Norfolk Southern accidents, the NTSB also urges the company to take immediate action today to review and assess its safety practices, with the input of employees and others, and implement necessary changes to improve safety,” the NTSB stated in a news release.

The NTSB said it has already launched investigation teams for five recent accidents involving Norfolk Southern, including the fatal collision with a truck in Cleveland Tuesday morning:

On Dec. 8, 2021, an employee for National Salvage and Service Corporation assigned to work with a Norfolk Southern work team replacing track was killed when the operator of a spike machine reversed direction and struck the employee in Reed, Pennsylvania.

On Dec. 13, 2022, a Norfolk Southern trainee conductor was killed, and another conductor was injured, when the lead locomotive of a Norfolk Southern freight train struck a steel angle iron protruding from a gondola car on another Norfolk Southern freight train that was stopped on an adjacent track in Bessemer, Alabama.

On Feb. 3, a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. The derailment resulted in a significant fire and hazardous materials release.

RELATED: View continuing coverage of the East Palestine derailment here

On March 4, a 2.55-mile-long Norfolk Southern freight train derailed near Springfield, Ohio.

View our coverage of this incident from over the weekend below:

Latest Ohio derailment poses no public risk, officials say

RELATED: Authorities provide update on Springfield train derailment

On March 7, a Norfolk Southern employee was killed during a movement in Cleveland, Ohio.

View our coverage of this incident below:

Dump truck collides with Norfolk Southern train, kills 1

RELATED: Dump truck collides with Norfolk Southern train, kills 1

The NTSB said that as a part of the special investigation, it is also reviewing the Oct. 28, 2022 derailment in Sandusky of a Norfolk Southern train carrying paraffin wax that left a stretch of a popular roadway closed for months, until the weeks after the East Palestine derailment.

Watch our News 5 Original story about this derailment and the aftermath below:

Sandusky says cooperation from Norfolk Southern improved after East Palestine

RELATED: Sandusky leaders say cooperation from Norfolk Southern improved after East Palestine train derailment

The NTSB said it is concerned that organizational factors may be involved in the accidents, including safety culture. The agency stated it will conduct an in-depth investigation into the safety practices and culture of the company and is already urging Norfolk Southern to improve safety immediately.

One day before the NTSB's announcement, Norfolk Southern released a six-point safety plan based on the preliminary findings of the NTSB investigation into the derailment.

Watch our report on this newly-released plan below:

Norfolk Southern releases safety plan after East Palestine train derailment

RELATED: Norfolk Southern releases safety plan after East Palestine train derailment

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