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NTSB opens special investigation into Norfolk Southern's safety practices and culture following Ohio train derailments

The National Transportation Safety Board has announced that it is opening a special investigation into Norfolk Southern Railway's safety practices and culture.

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Following a series of high-profile incidents, including multiple train derailments in Ohio, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced on Tuesday that it is launching a special investigation into Norfolk Southern Railway's organization and safety culture.

"Given the number and significance of recent Norfolk Southern accidents, the NTSB also urges the company to take immediate action today to review and assess its safety practices, with the input of employees and others, and implement necessary changes to improve safety," NTSB said in a statement.

NTSB's announcement comes just hours after a Norfolk Southern conductor was killed after being struck by a dump truck in Cleveland early Tuesday morning. The incident marked just the latest involving Norfolk Southern since the company gained notoriety last month after one of its trains carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, resulting in a temporary evacuation of the area and a controlled release of the chemicals on board.

One month after the Feb. 3 derailment, another Norfolk Southern train derailed in Springfield, Ohio, on March 4. NTSB said that in addition to the aforementioned incidents, it will also review a Norfolk Southern train derailment that occurred in Sandusky, Ohio, on Oct. 28, 2022, as a part of its investigation.

"The continued safe operations of Norfolk Southern is vital to the United States," NTSB said. "The NTSB is concerned that several organizational factors may be involved in the accidents, including safety culture. The NTSB will conduct an in-depth investigation into the safety practices and culture of the company. At the same time, the company should not wait to improve safety and the NTSB urges it to do so immediately."

On Monday, Norfolk Southern released a new six-point safety plan aimed "to immediately enhance the safety of its operations.”

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