NTSB says East Palestine vent & burn was not necessary at NS derailment site

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Lead Service Attendant
Aug 8, 2023
Richmond VA
Explosions, controlled burn in East Palestine train derailment were unnecessary, NTSB official head says
This AP story is going around today. A contractor for NS was in touch with the chemical manufacturer, which was saying they could just let the train cool off. That opinion never made it from NS to the firefighters and the governor, it is claimed.

Residents of the town suspect NS wanted to get the wreck clear, while the official line is it could have blown up and sent shrapnel a mile away.

If you think about a carrier mentality, they don't know everything about the goods they are shipping. I don't know how liability works between the shipper, the carrier, the manufacturer and the customer. Don't know if the manufacturer or the customer was the shipper. In maritime law, based on ancient Phoenician law, the shipper weirdly has responsibility for a shipwreck, not the shipping company. I imagine the layers of holding companies and flags of convenience on ships are workarounds. A ship itself can be sued, which seems like a workaround to the workarounds. All this came up when that extra large ship was stuck in the Suez Canal.

C-SPAN yesterday showed Congressional hearings with the NS chief on the hot seat. There was an unstated confusion about railcars "owned by" NS. I used to wander around a small train yard in VA and look at the text painted on the sides of the traincars. The economy was doing well and interest rates were low, so many cars were new. Most were owned by a leasing company. On the ground between the tracks were small piles of tiny white pellets. Seemed the raw plastic spilled out of the hopper doors when the cars were parked. When we were younger, a lone caboose sat in that yard, and it was occasionally explored (not by me), until a murder took place (also not by me). Even earlier, the yard was larger and had a roundtable. When all that was excavated for redevelopment in the 1990s, the top two and a half feet of soil were black with coal dust.

The lawyers who negotiated a $600 million settlement with Norfolk Southern over that railroad’s disastrous 2023 derailment in Ohio want residents to talk with them before deciding the historic deal isn’t enough.

They said Wednesday that the settlement for everyone within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of the East Palestine disaster is bigger than any derailment settlement ever made public, including the worst in recent memory when a crude oil train rolled out of control downhill, killing 47 people in Lac Megantic, Canada, in 2013.