NTSB Wraps Up On-Site Investigation in East Palestine

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio – As Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was visiting the site of the train derailment in the village Thursday, National Transportation Safety Board investigators were on the scene wrapping up their on-site investigation.

Paul Stancil, hazardous materials investigator for the NTSB, said they have shipped parts of train cars to a site for additional investigation. 

They are also still interviewing witnesses from the night of the derailment.

The preliminary report from the NTSB was released today and shed some light on what occurred in East Palestine when a Norfolk Southern train derailed Feb. 3. The report will be followed by one expected in the next year, which will have hundreds of pages and more detail.

Stancil emphasized the importance to the NTSB of getting the investigation right and continuing to check and double check what they have learned, with a lot of information and misinformation circulating about the derailment. 

“We’re turning over every rock,” Stancil said. “There are some things that may seem insignificant, but they’re literally turning over every rock.”

Stancil said cleanup in the area can be completed now because investigators have finished their site inspection work. 

In the end, he predicts there will be railway safety lessons learned from what happened here. 

Pictured at top: A train car from the Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine.

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