At least two Norfolk Southern trains have derailed in Alabama as the train company faces national scrutiny for its handling of a derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, which resulted in over a million pounds of toxic chemicals potentially being spilled.

Last month, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Calhoun County. According to WBRC, another Norfolk Southern train derailed on Wednesday in Shelby County near Helena. 

The recent derailment resulted in one set of wheels off the tracks. According to the report, the car remains upright, and the incident involved no hazardous materials or injuries. 

Last month, Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade told the press that train cars were empty when another crash occurred near Iron City Motorway. Officials reported no property damage or injuries.

Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern faced strict scrutiny from lawmakers and public opinion for the East Palestine derailment and its handling of the incident. 

According to reports, the derailment occurred on February 3. The company reported the incident to the National Response Center shortly before 11 a.m. Eleven of the affected 50 rail cars contained hazardous materials, including vinyl chloride, an extremely toxic chemical associated with an increased risk of cancer. 

On February 4, officials asked East Palestine residents to evacuate the area. Norfolk Southern officials decided to prevent an explosion by executing a controlled release and burn of five cars containing the chemical on February 6. Authorities accused Norfolk Souther of failing to inform public officials that they were going to burn all five cars containing the toxic chemical instead of the one car that was at risk of exploding. 

The controlled burn resulted in a large plume and failed to contain an estimated 1.1 million pounds of the chemical. 

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration announced investigations into the company's safety practices and have promised to examine five accidents that have taken place since 2021. 

Norfolk Southern's CEO apologized before Congress in March and promised to clean the site with help from the Environmental Protection Agency and local and state agencies in Ohio. Norfolk Southern already agreed to pay for damages. 

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was suing Norfolk Southern on March 30, seeking relief and civil penalties for the Ohio incident. However, the lawsuit does not accuse Norfolk Southern of negligence.  

Norfolk Southern is headquartered in Atlanta and owns over 25,000 miles of railroad in the Eastern half of the United States. Several of its largest shareholders, such as Vanguard and BlackRock, have committed to investing with consideration of politically-charged Environmental, Social and Governance scores.

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