The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report into the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment on February 3rd. The early findings clearly point to what happened, but not at who is ultimately responsible.
Speaking on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program, ABC News national policy reporter Anne Flaherty said the NTSB findings suggest the derailment was 100% preventable. “These railroad companies have safety protocols that should prevent these types of derailments,” said Flaherty.
According to NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy, a wheel bearing on the 140-car freight train became overheated and failed. The fallout from the incident, Flaherty stressed, now turns to who is responsible for the failure. “One of the key things is, was the [railroad] industry standard too lax, allowing that temperature to get all the way up to 250 degrees before you stop that train or the third alarm bell went off, was that too lax,” said Flaherty. “That’s what they’re going to be looking into.”
As to the politics behind who is responsible, Flaherty hinted that Trump-era deregulation may or may not be at fault, telling Berman and Riedel, “Everybody wants to find a bad guy [but] it’s not entirely clear… which of these regulations that he may have had a hand in had any involvement in this train derailment.”