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Train crashes in Clark County; fourth Norfolk Southern derailment in Ohio in five months

Multiple train cars can be seen at odd angles, with tall grass in the foreground and a bright blue sky at the top.
Daniel Hawk
A Norfolk Southern train has derailed in Clark County near State Route 41.

A Norfolk Southern train derailed Saturday evening in Clark County — the fourth time a Norfolk Southern train has derailed in Ohio in recent months.

Here's what we know right now:

The train wasn't carrying hazardous materials, according to a Norfolk Southern spokesperson.
"There is NO risk to the public," spokesperson Connor Spielmaker said on Twitter.

Crews from the Clark County Hazmat team and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have each independently examined the train crash site in Springfield Twp. and said they found no evidence of spillage at the site.

Two tankers contained residual amounts of diesel exhaust fluid and another two tankers contained residual amounts of polyacrylamide water solution, the Clark County Emergency Management Agency said in a news release. According to Norfolk Southern, these are non-hazardous materials. They also say these materials are commonly shipped via rail.

The Clark County EMA had asked residents within 1,000 feet of the derailment to shelter in place Saturday night "out of an abundance of caution."

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter he had been briefed on the crash and spoke with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to offer support.

"No hazardous material release has been reported, but we will continue to monitor closely and (Federal Railroad Administration) personnel are en route," he said.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, issued a statement on Saturday night calling for the passage of the Railway Safety Act, legislation that he's proposed with U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio.

"Sandusky, Steubenville, East Palestine, and now Springfield — four Norfolk Southern derailments in less than five months ... Ohio communities should not be forced to live in fear of another disaster," Brown said. "It’s unacceptable — it’s why we must pass my bipartisan Railway Safety Act with Senator Vance, now."

More than 1,500 customers lost power due to downed lines. As of 9 a.m. Sunday, about 100 customers remained without power. Ohio Edison estimated they would be restored by 10 a.m. Sunday.

The county EMA also asked drivers to avoid the area. State Route 41 is expected to remain closed until further notice. A detour is posted.

Multiple Clark County and Ohio agencies responded Saturday evening, including the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Springfield Twp. Fire Department, Springfield Fire/Rescue Division, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Springfield Police Division.

DeWine tweeted Saturday night that both Buttigieg and President Joe Biden had reached out to him to offer support.

Samantha Sommer is the news director for WYSO, where she leads a team of award-winning reporters and anchors and collaborates with NPR stations across Ohio. She joined the station in May 2022 after more than 20 years with Cox Enterprises, most recently as managing editor for investigations for the Dayton Daily News. Samantha also has served as the editor of the Springfield News-Sun, and Springfield bureau chief for WHIO TV and WHIO Radio. She is a Detroit native and a graduate of Northwestern University. Samantha is married with two adult stepchildren and a 4-year-old son.
Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).

Email: kmobley@wyso.org
Cell phone: (937) 952-9924
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