LYNCHBURG, Va. —
“We have a million shipments of hazardous materials moving around this country every day, and we have 50 inspectors,” Foxx told The Associated Press recently.
The cause of the accident is under investigation by the NTSB. CSX said it is cooperating fully.
NTSB investigator Jim Southworth said the train was going 24 mph in a 25 mph zone at the time.
Tom Shahady, a professor of environmental science at Lynchburg College, said erosion around the tracks because of increased development may have contributed to the derailment.
On Thursday, crews used cranes and other heavy equipment to clear the wreck, and workers put a boom around the cars in the water. Nearly all the train’s cars were carrying crude, and each had a capacity of 30,000 gallons, officials said.
“This could have been a whole lot worse,” Mayor Michael A. Gillette said, adding that local officials have virtually no say over railroad operations. “We rely on state and federal government to do the work that needs to be done that our citizens are safe.”
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