Train Cars Carrying Plastic Plunge Into River After Derailment

Train Cars Carrying Plastic Plunge Into River After Derailment

Days after the one-year anniversary of a disastrous Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, a Norfolk Southern cargo train operated by Berkshire & Eastern Railroad has derailed in New York state.

The 94-car train derailed near Johnsonville at around 8:53 p.m. Wednesday, according to WRGB-TV.

Ten cars left the tracks. Two of them landed in the Hoosic River near Valley Falls, according to Jay Wilson, director of public safety for Rensselaer County.

One of those cars was leaking small plastic pellets into the river.

Valley Falls is about 25 miles northeast of Albany.

Hoosic Valley Fire Chief Mark Sheline said the cleanup will take time, noting that Route 67 in the area is closed.

“We just want to stress that there’s no danger, there’s no harm to the public. This area is a bit congested for the time being and moving forward for the next couple weeks,” he said, noting that there are no evacuations necessary, according to WNYT-TV.

That was not the case in East Palestine, where residents were evacuated from their homes after a train with hazardous chemicals derailed on Feb. 3, 2023, as noted by the Associated Press.

The derailment spurred calls for increased safety measures to prevent derailments.

Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said federal action is needed, according to Morningstar.

“In the year since the East Palestine derailment, rail safety has headed in the wrong direction,” she said, pointing out that derailments since the East Palestine disaster have increased by more than 13 percent.

WRGB reported that, as of Thursday morning, polypropylene pellets were spilling into the Hoosic River from one damaged car.

The second car, which contained a form of vegetable oil, was also leaking into the river.

Tom Ciuba, a representative of  Berkshire & Eastern, said the cleanup is underway, according to Fox News.

“Contractors are on site to fully respond to the incident, and rerailing of the cars should take several hours,” Ciuba said. “A thorough investigation into the cause is also underway.”

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos posted to X that, in addition to the two cars leaking their contents, two other cars were teetering above the river.

The speed the train was traveling is not known, Wilson said, according to the Albany Times-Union.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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