NTSB to Hold Final Public Meeting on East Palestine Derailment

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Feb. 7 announced that it will return to East Palestine, Ohio, on June 25 for its final board meeting on the 2023 train derailment and subsequent hazardous material release and fires.

During the public meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, June 25 at 9:30 a.m. ET at East Palestine High School, NTSB board members will vote on the final findings, probable cause and recommendations. The board will also vote on any changes to the draft final report. The public can attend in person or watch a livestream on the NTSB YouTube channel.

Additionally, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy is planning two community meetings on June 24 and June 25 at East Palestine High School, providing an opportunity for the public to ask about the agency and its investigative process. Times and details to come.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy

“The NTSB is returning to East Palestine for our final board meeting for the same reasons we went last summer: Because the communities most affected by this tragedy deserve to hear our findings in-person and in real-time,” Homendy said.

On Feb. 3, 2023, an eastbound Norfolk Southern (NS) train derailed railcars on main track 1 in East Palestine. The derailed equipment included 11 tank cars carrying hazardous materials that subsequently ignited, fueling fires that damaged an additional 12 non-derailed railcars. First responders implemented a one-mile evacuation zone surrounding the derailment site that affected up to 2,000 residents. There were no reported fatalities or injuries.

NTSB held a two-day investigative hearing last June in East Palestine as part of the agency’s investigation. NTSB has released in the accident docket more than 1,800 pages of factual information, such as factual reports, interview transcripts and other investigative materials. Documents from the June 2023 hearing are available in the hearing docket, which contains more than 5,000 pages of information, including the complete hearing transcripts.

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