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Norfolk Southern said railcars with loose wheels were discovered during the cleanup

Norfolk Southern — Railway Company of Train derailed Last month in East Palestine, Ohio, contaminating neighborhoods with toxic chemicals — announced Thursday night that it had determined that some railcars of a certain make and model had loose wheels.

While clearing the derailment site, Norfolk Southern investigators discovered that a “specific model and series of railcar wheels were loose,” the company said in a news release Thursday night, calling the discovery “an urgent safety issue.”

“The wheels came from a series of cars recently acquired from a certain manufacturer,” Norfolk Southern said.

Norfolk Southern did not identify the manufacturer, or say how many of the railcars specifically involved in the East Palestine accident were part of that model and series.

Cleanup continues in East Palestine this week after a devastating derailment spilled hazardous materials

A Norfolk Southern contractor moves away from the tracks as a train arrives March 9, 2023 in East Palestine, Ohio.

Michael Swansen/Getty Images

Norfolk Southern said the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were “immediately notified and have begun inspecting other cars in this series on our network.”

The agency added that the cause of the accident is under investigation.

The announcement came on the same day as Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw appeared The East Palestine crisis and several recent Norfolk Southern train derailments, including one in Alabama earlier Thursday, were before a Senate panel. Shaw promised the company would “clean up the site thoroughly, and with urgency. We’re improving every day.”

He added that the agency has earmarked $20 million in reimbursements and investments for families and first responders affected by the incident.

On February 3, a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed In a fire accident in East Palestine. About 10 of the 38 derailed vehicles contained hazardous materials. Hundreds of residents were evacuated, and crews later conducted a controlled release of toxic chemicals, including Plastic chlorideBecause of the risk that the derailment could cause an explosion.

State and federal officials have faced significant criticism over their response to the incident in East Palestine Concerned local residents Areas where contamination may pose significant long-term health risks.

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