"The NTSB is concerned that multiple organizational factors may be involved in the accidents, including safety culture," the statement said. The agency cited five serious accidents: three work-related deaths since December 2021 and two derailments this year, including that of a freight train loaded with toxic chemicals.
The 150-car train crashed on February 3 while en route from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania. Almost 40 wagons derailed. A huge fire broke out and toxic chemicals were released into the environment, including the chemical vinyl chloride, which is classified as a carcinogen. Thousands of people in the East Palestine community had to temporarily evacuate their homes.
The authorities asserted that tests had shown that the air and water in the region were safe. However, many residents are skeptical and attribute headaches to the accident, among other things.