Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The intentional harmful fire that happened after the Norfolk Southern train went off track wasn’t needed, says the safety regulator during the testimony

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In February 2023, there was a big fire in East Palestine, Ohio, caused by burning dangerous stuff on purpose. The person in charge of the National Transportation Safety Board talked about it at a Senate meeting on Wednesday.

A senator from Ohio, J.D. Vance, asked the NTSB Chair, Jennifer Homendy, about the fire. She agreed with the senator that burning the chemicals was a bad choice because one tank was cooling down, four were not too hot, and there was no explosion risk.

On February 3, 2023, a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, and spilled a lot of harmful chemicals into the air, water, and soil. People had to leave temporarily, and even though officials say the town is safe now, some residents still feel sick.

Three days after the accident, they decided to burn the chemicals, saying there was a danger of an explosion. But the NTSB Chair said that wasn’t true; they could have let it cool down.

Senator Vance was worried that the burn might not have been necessary and could have been done to move trains faster. Another senator, Sherrod Brown, was really mad and said the company put money over safety.

The company, Norfolk Southern, said they did the burn to keep people safe and prevent a big explosion. But the NTSB Chair said the people who decided to burn didn’t know that the company owning the chemicals said there was no explosion risk.

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