According to workers and a lawsuit filed against Norfolk Southern, the railroad’s conduct exacerbated a train derailment that set off a sequence of hazardous and devastating events for the residents of East Palestine, Ohio.
The size of the train — 151 cars, 9,300 feet long, and 18,000 tons — reportedly played a role in the catastrophe, according to a CBS story that did not identify the personnel questioned.
Workers reportedly reported that the train suffered problems before to derailing. According to CBS, the train, which began its voyage in Madison, Illinois, had broken down at least once before to the tragedy in Ohio.
An employee stated that the train was far too lengthy.
“We shouldn’t be running trains that are 150 car lengths long. There should be some limitations to the weight and the length of the trains. In this case, had the train not been 18,000 tons, it’s very likely the effects of the derailment would have been mitigated,” an employee told CBS.
“The workers are exhausted, times for car inspections have been drastically cut, and there are no regulations on the size of these trains,” an employee said.
Norfolk Southern released a statement stating that “the weight distribution of this train was uniform throughout” and included a mid-train engine “which helps manage the dynamic forces of the train.”
The processes of the firm were viewed with skepticism by Jared Cassity, the national legislative director of a union that represents Norfolk Southern employees.
“There’s a good chance the car that derailed had not been properly inspected for some time,” Cassity told CBS, saying that corporate directives permit inspections to take less than one minute.
“You combine that with the added length and tonnage, plus the fact that it had all this hazardous material, and this was predictable. If nothing changes, it will happen again,” he said.
The National Transportation Safety Board said last week it “identified and examined the rail car that initiated the derailment,” and that surveillance video “showed what appears to be a wheel bearing in the final stage of overheat failure moments before the derailment.”
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Norfolk Southern in relation to the disaster, alleging that the derailment and poisonous cloud that finally engulfed East Palestine, Ohio “would never have occurred if not for failure on top of failure by Norfolk Southern.”
More on this story via The Western Journal:
“Train 32N should never have been operated in such a reckless manner that its wheel bearings would fail and cause derailment of a train carrying highly toxic and combustible substances. Even after derailment, the integrity of cars containing highly toxic and combustible substances should not have breached, and emergency pressure relief valves should have functioned as designed,” the suit states. CONTINUE READING…