WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg visited the site of Ohio’s train derailment on Thursday as the National Transportation Safety Board released initial findings.
With the investigation ongoing, Secretary Buttigieg says the administration is already taking action.
“They’re going to have support from us when it comes to holding Norfolk Southern accountable,” Buttigieg said. “They’re going to have support from the EPA when it comes to making sure they get accurate information about the safety of their air, water and soil.”
NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said, “I can tell you this much: This was 100% preventable.”
Investigators found the train was traveling under the speed limit and that the crew received three warnings about an overheating part. However, the first two didn’t require them to stop and by the time they got the third critical alarm, it was too late.
“We will not wait for that process to run its course to continue doing everything that we can to raise the bar on rail safety,” Buttigieg stated.
While Buttigieg questions whether rail safety standards are too low and if Norfolk Southern should have done more to self-regulate, former President Trump said the current administration isn’t doing enough during a visit on Wednesday.
“What this community needs now is not excuses,” Trump said.
The administration says officials from multiple agencies have been on the ground from day one and Wednesday the EPA ordered Norfolk Southern to pay for the cleanup.