Norfolk Southern knew that a train which derailed near East Palestine was dangerously long but insisted that the engineer proceed, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
The day before the train derailed, an engineer in Decatur, Illinois, voiced his concern about the size of the train to the yardmaster. But according to the NTSB, the engineer was told “Well, this is what they want.”
In response, Norfolk Southern said the Federal Railroad Administration has not set out regulatory requirements on train configuration, and that the train met its internal policies regarding train configuration at the time of the East Palestine derailment.
“Every accident is an opportunity to learn. We are collaborating with labor leadership and our craft employees to enhance safety, we’ve brought in an outside safety consultant, and we are committed to leading the industry,” the company said in a statement.
Official Reports in Accident Cases
The accident report is usually the first piece of evidence in a train derailment, car crash, or any other injury claim. Sometimes, this report is a cornerstone that’s strong enough to anchor the claim. Other times, a Columbus personal injury attorney must locate it.
Federal agencies, like the NTSB, have almost unlimited resources. They employ top-notch accident reconstruction engineers and other such professionals when they investigate large-scale train derailments, plane crashes, and other such tragedies.
Furthermore, federal agencies take their time and do a decent job. NTSB investigators spent four months compiling a preliminary report. A final report might take even longer.
These comprehensive reports usually take all available evidence into account, examine the incident from multiple perspectives, and as mentioned, include the opinions of accident reconstruction engineers. So, in court, such an official report may be utilized just like an expert witness report.
At the other end of the scale, single agency reports are often incomplete or inaccurate, especially if a pedestrian, motor vehicle driver, or another person directly involved in the incident dies.
State agencies have fewer resources than federal agencies. Local agencies have even less. In fact, in these situations, an accident report might be little more than a summary of the evidence immediately available at the scene. Additionally, if the victim died, the report only reflects one side of the story.
An Ohio train derailment attorney often supplements the police report with electronic evidence, such as information from a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder. EDRs measure and record critical bits of information like steering angle and vehicle speed.
Short- and Long-Term Effects of Chemical Poisoning
Emergency responders and other people who were close to the flames on February 3, 2023, probably inhaled toxic smoke. Other environmental poisoning injuries may continue for decades.
Toxic particles burn the lungs, and specifically the narrow breathing passages in the lungs, leaving scar tissue behind. Many of these breathing tubes aren’t much thicker than the pointy end of a stickpin. Therefore, any scar tissue causes significant breathing problems, even while the victim is at rest.
These breathing problems have physical and emotional consequences. People who cannot breathe well often withdraw from family and friends. When they go out, the victims stay at home.
A Columbus personal injury attorney obtains compensation for these physical and emotional damages in court.
Over the longer term, toxins that seeped into drinking water often cause several kidneys of cancer. These environmental cancers are difficult to diagnose, since in many cases, the victims have no obvious genetic or lifestyle risk factors.
The cancer survival rate has shot up since the 1990s. But improved treatments are only available if doctors get a head start. If they must start from behind, they must use more radical and riskier treatments that often don’t have favorable outcomes.
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