***Related coverage above: Norfolk Southern conductor killed in Cleveland train crash***
CLEVELAND (WJW) – The National Transportation Safety Board is opening a special investigation into Norfolk Southern after several recent incidents involving the railway, including the train derailment in East Palestine last month and a train crash that killed a conductor in Cleveland on Tuesday.
The NTSB announced Tuesday that it is looking into the railway’s safety practices and culture.
Federal investigators are also asking Norfolk Southern to review its own practices and make changes to ensure everyone’s safety.
The announcement comes just hours after a Norfolk Southern conductor was killed when a train and dump truck collided near the Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works property Tuesday morning.
According to Cleveland police, the conductor was stationed outside of a train car when the truck pulled into the train’s path and hit the front car. The conductor, who was struck in the collision, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw released the following statement, in part:
“Moving forward, we are going to rebuild our safety culture from the ground up. We are going to invest more in safety. This is not who we are, it is not acceptable, and it will not continue.”
The railway has already come under recent criticism after the fiery, toxic train derailment in East Palestine on Feb. 3.
On Monday, as reported by WKBN, Norfolk Southern announced six steps to help improve its safety measures, such as adding more bearing detectors and speeding up testing to catch overheated bearings more effectively.
“Reading the NTSB report makes it clear that meaningful safety improvements require a comprehensive industry effort that brings together railcar and tank car manufacturers, railcar owners and lessors, and the railroad companies,” said Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw.
The NTSB has also investigated three other Norfolk Southern incident since December 2021.
At that time, a National Salvage and Service Corporation employee who was working with Norfolk Southern to replace a track was killed when someone operating a spike machine reversed and hit them in Reed, Pennsylvania.
A little over a year later, a trainee conductor was killed and another conductor was hurt after a Northern Southern freight train hit a steel angle iron coming off of a gondola car on a stopped train in Bessemer, Alabama.
A 2.55-mile-long Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in Springfield, Ohio on March 4.
NTSB says it will also review a derailment in Sandusky back on Oct. 28 last year.
“The continued safe operations of Norfolk Southern is vital to the United States. The NTSB is concerned that several organizational factors may be involved in the accidents, including safety culture,” NTSB said in a press release. “The NTSB will conduct an in-depth investigation into the safety practices and culture of the company. At the same time, the company should not wait to improve safety and the NTSB urges it to do so immediately.”