Paging Mayor Pete: Train Carrying Hazardous Materials Derails in Pennsylvania

Via Twitter @USDOT
July 17, 2023

A train with at least 15 cars of hazardous materials derailed outside Philadelphia, spurring authorities to evacuate residents early Monday.

The train, operated by CSX and on tracks owned by Norfolk Southern, had 40 cars and derailed just before 5 a.m. in Whitemarsh Township. Officers evacuated businesses and houses in the area as a precaution but said there wasn't a known threat and later lifted the order.

"While preliminary reports indicate that one car transporting hazardous material was involved in the incident, there is no indication of any leaks or spills of hazardous materials and there are no injuries to the crew of the train," a statement from CSX said.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg retweeted a message from the Federal Railroad Administration that it was sending officials to the site.

"FRA safety personnel are en route to the scene of a derailment in Montgomery County, PA, to gather information. FRA will work with local officials on the ground, and encourages residents to follow their guidance," the tweet said.

The incident comes five months after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, causing a toxic spill. The slow federal response to the disaster led to widespread criticism of the Biden administration, particularly Buttigieg.

Buttigieg took nearly two weeks to issue his first statement on the disaster, opting instead to lecture on construction workers' whiteness. He visited East Palestine nearly three weeks after the crash and spent the visit blaming rail lobbyists, the Trump administration, and Norfolk Southern for the incident.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fell ill after a visit to the site in March, raising questions about the ongoing health effects from the derailment.

Buttigieg has also faced criticism for going on paternity leave in 2021 during supply chain bottlenecks and negotiations over the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. He went on vacation to Portugal in 2022 while rail workers neared a strike.

His administration also was accused of mishandling the Southwest Airlines meltdown over the holidays that led to thousands of canceled flights and stranded travelers.

Published under: Pete Buttigieg