The US Transportation Safety Administration has announced a special investigation into the Norfolk Southern railroad company following the derailment of a freight train carrying chemicals in the state of Ohio and other accidents. Since December 2021, the NTSB has investigated five serious accidents involving Norfolk Southern, it said in a statement Tuesday.

The agency is concerned that several organizational factors may have played a role in the accidents, including safety culture. One will therefore examine the security practices of the company in detail. At the same time, the company should not wait to improve security, the NTSB said.

criticism of the US government

On February 3, 38 cars of a 150-car train derailed, some of which caught fire. Large quantities of sometimes highly toxic chemicals such as carcinogenic vinyl chloride were released into the environment. The wagon wrecks burned for days. To prevent an explosion, the authorities released the chemicals in a controlled manner and burned them off. A huge cloud of smoke hung over the place. The houses in the area were temporarily evacuated. After the accident, residents complained not only about the penetrating smell but also about health problems – including headaches, irritated eyes and a skin rash. According to initial findings, the cause of the accident was an overheated wheel bearing in one of the wagons.

After the accident, criticism of President Joe Biden’s government’s crisis management was raised. But the railway company Norfolk Southern was also criticized. Only on Tuesday (local time) did an employee of the company die in an accident in the US city of Cleveland. On Monday, Norfolk Southern published a six-point safety plan.