A train derailment and resulting large fire prompted an evacuation order and a declaration of a state of emergency in an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line on Friday night, covering the area in billows of smoke, lit orange by the flames below.
About 50 cars derailed in East Palestine as a train was carrying a variety of freight from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania, rail operator Norfolk Southern said in a statement Saturday.
Norfolk Southern said the train was carrying more than 100 cars, 20 of which were classified as carrying hazardous materials, defined as cargo that could pose any kind of danger “including flammables, combustibles, or environmental risks.”
The National Transportation Safety Board said Sunday that the derailment was caused by a potential mechanical issue with one of the rail car axles.
The evidence gathered will be methodically and systematically reviewed to analyze the crash.
Once the fire is out, the railcars will be moved for further damage assessment.
NTSB requested track inspection records, locomotive and railcar inspections, and maintenance records, as well as training records from Norfolk Southern.