No Hazardous Materials Spill in Train Derailment Near Detroit

By Associated Press

February 17, 2023

VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP—A train hauling hazardous materials derailed Thursday near Detroit, but none spilled, officials said.

The Norfolk Southern train derailed nearly two weeks after a Norfolk Southern derailment in Ohio left a mangled and charred mass of boxcars that had been carrying various hazardous chemicals.

Video recorded of the Thursday derailment in Van Buren Township, Michigan, showed that more than a half-dozen cars derailed, some of them left sideways across the tracks.

The derailment just before 9 a.m. west of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport left the tracks damaged and wheels disconnected from some rail cars.

Police said there were no reported injuries and no evidence that hazardous materials were exposed in the derailment.

Authorities urged drivers and residents to avoid the area while they investigated. Several roads were temporarily closed by the derailment.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy sent responders to the scene who found one of the overturned rail cars contained agricultural products while the other cars were empty, the Detroit Free Press reported. No hazardous material was released into soil or waterways, and one rail car contained liquid chlorine but was away from the overturned section, the Free Press reported.

US Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, said her office has been in touch with the federal officials, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She said in a statement that a train car “carrying hazardous material has been put upright and is being removed from the area of the other derailed cars” and the EPA was sending a team.

The train derailed as communities in Arizona and Ohio grapple with the fallout from a truck crash Tuesday and the Ohio train derailment, both involving hazardous materials.

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