A Norfolk Southern-operated train derailed in Van Buren Township, Michigan, on Thursday, according to officials and video footage, and there are reports that the train was carrying hazardous materials.
The cause of the derailment, located outside of Detroit, was not immediately clear. It’s not clear what materials the train was carrying.
“There is no evidence of exposed hazardous materials, as no train cars containing hazardous materials were compromised,” Van Buren Township police officials said in a statement on social media Thursday.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) issued a statement confirming the derailment and indicated that hazardous materials were being carried by the train.
“We are also in touch with the relevant federal authorities, including the EPA,” Dingell told local media outlets on Thursday. “At this time no one is aware of the release of any hazardous materials, the car carrying hazardous material has been put upright and is being removed from the area of the other derailed cars, and [the Environmental Protection Agency] is dispatching a team to ensure public safety,” she said.
Helicopter footage taken by ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV shows there are at least six train cars that went off the track
EGLE is aware of the train derailment in Van Buren Township, Wayne County, where initial reports indicate no threat to the public from the derailment. EGLE personnel are on their way to the scene to assist in assessing the situation.
— Michigan EGLE (@MichiganEGLE) February 16, 2023
The congresswoman’s office is currently “in touch with Supervisor Kevin McNamara, the Van Buren Fire Department, and other local officials regarding the train derailment in Van Buren Township,” Dingell also said. “We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and remain in touch with federal, state, and local officials, and release additional information as it becomes available,” she added.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) wrote that it is “aware of the train derailment” in Wayne County. Reports indicate that there is “no threat to the public” following the incident, according to a statement.
“EGLE personnel are on their way to the scene to assist in assessing the situation,” the statement added.
A spokesperson for Norfolk Southern told Local4 News that it was operating the train. The company also operated the train that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, last month that led to the controlled release and burning of toxic materials, sparking a nationwide outcry.
The official said no hazardous materials spilled in the crash, while there are no reports of casualties. The Epoch Times has contacted Norfolk Southern for comment regarding the train’s cargo.
Authorities in Van Buren Township, located some 30 miles from Detroit, said that an investigation into the matter is active and ongoing.
The derailment Thursday comes amid controversy about the East Palestine train derailment and subsequent fire that occurred earlier this month. The incident sparked concerns that hazardous materials that were burned or released after the derailment leaked into the local water supply or even the Ohio River, while there have been several reports of animals being found dead in the vicinity of the crash.
The Norfolk Southern Railroad-operated train’s derailment caused a fire that sent a cloud of smoke over East Palestine. Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate. Residents were allowed to return to their homes on Feb. 8 after railroad crews drained and burned off a toxic chemical from five tanker cars.
Many in the area have complained of headaches and irritated eyes, and noted that chickens, fish, and other wildlife have died off. Despite that, state health officials have claimed to residents that East Palestine is a safe place to be.
Amid the controversy, hundreds of residents of East Palestine held a town meeting to seek answers about potential health risks they face. But Norfolk Southern officials stated that they did not attend the meeting because they feared violence.
“After consulting with community leaders, we have become increasingly concerned about the growing physical threat to our employees and members of the community around this event stemming from the increasing likelihood of the participation of outside parties,” the company said in a statement.
Two other trains have derailed since the Ohio incident, including one near Houston, Texas, and another in South Carolina, officials said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times