Buttigieg Says ‘Situation’ In Ohio Getting ‘High Amount Of Attention’ Though Train Derailments Happen All The Time

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Thursday that the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, is getting a “high amount of attention” though these sorts of situations occur all of the time.

The Feb. 3 Norfolk Suffolk train derailment caused a massive fire and toxic chemical spill, forcing 2,000 residents to evacuate and for the rest of the community to shelter in place.

Buttigieg said that such cases happen approximately one thousand times a year in an interview with Yahoo! Finance.

“There’s clearly more that needs to be done because while this horrible situation has gotten a particularly high amount of attention, there are roughly one thousand cases a year of a train derailing,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg broke his silence ten days after the emergency occurred, assuring over Twitter that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Rail Administration and Pipelines and Hazardous Materials are investigating the cause. (RELATED: ‘This Is Absurd’: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Asks Congress To Investigate Train Derailment) 

“I continue to be concerned about the impacts of the Feb 3 train derailment near East Palestine, OH, and the effects on families in the ten days since their lives were upended through no fault of their own,” Buttigieg said. “USDOT has been supporting the investigation led by The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Our Federal Rail Administration and Pipelines and Hazardous Materials teams were onsite within hours of the initial incident and continue to be actively engaged.”

Over one thousand derailments have occurred between 2019 and 2022, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. In 2022, 1,044 derailments were recorded in the U.S., a decrease from the 1,242 that occurred in 2019.

President Joe Biden’s administration rejected Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s request for federal disaster relief because the incident did not classify as a national disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determines a natural disaster as a tornado, flood, hurricane or earthquake.