By Sabela Ojea


Norfolk Southern Corp. said Wednesday it is establishing a free safety training facility for first responders in Ohio a day after federal transportation safety investigators opened a special probe into the company's safety measures.

The National Transportation Safety Board requested the U.S. railroad operator immediately review its safety practices as it looks into five significant accidents involving the company since December 2021.

The most-recent event the NTSB is investigating occurred Tuesday, when a Norfolk Southern conductor was killed at steel plant in Cleveland.

"The NTSB is concerned that several organizational factors may be involved in the accidents, including safety culture," the NTSB said Tuesday.

The opening of the training center is meant to ensure that first responders, many of them volunteers, are prepared for disasters involving hazardous materials, Norfolk Southern said Wednesday.

First responders from other states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia also would have access to these classes, which will begin on March 22, the company added.

"These commitments are the direct result of my conversations with [Ohio] Governor DeWine and other leaders," Norfolk Southern President and Chief Executive Alan Shaw said.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has not yet submitted a disaster declaration for East Palestine after a train carrying hazardous material derailed and caught fire in the area in late January.

The derailment of that first freight train earlier this year, which spilled toxic chemicals, was followed by a second derailment outside of Detroit in mid-February and a third train derailment near Springfield, Ohio, last week.

"The derailment in East Palestine made clear that ensuring first responders are prepared for disasters involving hazardous materials is vitally important to the safety of communities," Mr. Shaw added.


Write to Sabela Ojea at; @sabelaojeaguix


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 08, 2023 12:43 ET (17:43 GMT)

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