Company removed from Springfield, Ohio, probe
WASHINGTON (April 18, 2023) – The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday it was removing National Steel Car as a party to the investigation into a March 4 Norfolk Southern Railway train derailment near Springfield, Ohio.
The NTSB said National Steel Car violated the terms of the agency’s party agreement by releasing investigative information that had not yet been fully vetted or confirmed by the NTSB.
In a statement Friday, National Steel Car claimed its steel coil wheelsets were cleared from involvement in the derailment. However, the NTSB has not ruled out the role that the wheelsets may or may not have played in the derailment at this point in the investigation.
The constraints placed on the release of information by party members exist to prevent the uncoordinated release of investigative information. The NTSB has used the party system for decades as part of the agency’s investigative process, which allows the sharing of factual investigative information during the early phases of an investigation. This sharing of information ensures a party to an investigation has sufficient information to take any immediate actions necessary to ensure safety.
NTSB investigations are comprehensive, independent and thorough. Transparency in the investigative process is achieved through the public release of on-scene information, preliminary reports, the public docket, board meetings that are open to the public, and the public release of reports. Uncoordinated releases of information by parties to an investigation does not achieve transparency and does not further transportation safety or serve the public interest, rather, they only meet a party’s self-interests.
The NTSB letter to National Steel Car can be found online.
More information on the derailment investigation is available on the investigation webpage.
To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, please call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 to speak to a Watch Officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, DC (24/7).