| 18 June 2024, Tuesday |

Biden does not plan to visit site of Ohio train derailment

President of the United States Joe Biden stated on Friday that he had no intentions to go to the location of the train crash that released hazardous chemicals in a hamlet in Ohio earlier in February.

The East Palestine track derailment forced thousands of people to flee and raised health concerns.

“I’ve had conversations with every single important person in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Therefore, it cannot be said that we are not involved “On Friday, Biden told reporters.

Norfolk Southern Corp, the operator of the train, apologized on Wednesday at a CNN town hall event that highlighted residents’ concerns about soil and ground water contamination.

The Biden administration has said Norfolk Southern must pay for the damage and clean-up efforts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered company officials to attend town hall events after executives failed to attend an earlier meeting in East Palestine.

The derailment has sparked a political battle and a blame game over railroad safety regulations, with residents voicing deep concern over the long-term health impact of the millions of pounds of carcinogenic chemicals spilled in their town.

Some Republicans have criticized the Biden administration over the incident while some Democrats have pointed to regulations rescinded under former President Donald Trump. Trump, who is campaigning for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, visited the area on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited the wreckage after the Biden administration came under fire for delaying the dispatch of a cabinet member to the scene.

In conjunction with the release of a preliminary investigation on Thursday, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board stated that the derailment may have been prevented if the railway company’s alarm system had given engineers an early warning that bearings were overheating.

The U.S. Transportation Department was requested to provide papers by the House of Representatives Oversight Committee regarding their response to the event earlier on Friday.

  • Reuters