The crash occurred less than two weeks after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Videos and pictures from the Van Buren derailment show at least six cars rooted off their track. (Related: East Palestine residents are seething over authorities downplaying extent of train derailment chemical release; "don't tell me it's safe.")
According to Van Buren Township Public Safety, the incident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. The derailment caused damage to the tracks, and the wheels disconnected from some of the rail cars. The train had one car that was filled with liquid chlorine, but this train car was located far away from the overturned section. One of the cars that derailed contained agricultural grain, and the five remaining cars were empty.
"There is no evidence of exposed hazardous materials," wrote the public safety office on its social media accounts, adding that the section of railcars that contained the one with the liquid chlorine was immediately removed as soon as Norfolk Southern was able to bring equipment on-site to remove rail cars. "No hazardous materials released to the soil or waterways. There are no reported injuries."
As of press time, Norfolk Southern is still busy removing and uprighting railcars. Work on this section of the railroad is expected to be completed within a day. Roads near the site have been closed and drivers asked to stay away from the area.
BREAKING: A train has just derailed outside Detroit. At least six cars came off the track, and one was carrying hazardous materials. pic.twitter.com/twJKHyWOq3
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) February 16, 2023
Van Buren Township authorities noted that multiple officials immediately responded to the incident.
Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell, whose constituents include the people of Van Buren Township, immediately activated the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a response team to the area to monitor the air, confirming that air quality in the area is currently normal.
"At this time, no one is aware of the release of any hazardous materials, the car carrying hazardous material has been put upright and is being removed from the area of the other derailed cars, and EPA is dispatching a team to ensure public safety," said Dingell.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said it is aware of the situation in Van Buren Township and immediately dispatched personnel to the site to "assist in assessing the situation." The department was quick to reiterate that initial reports indicate no threat to the public from the derailment.
"After the recent incident in Ohio, Van Buren is going to know we are safe before we disengage from this event," wrote the township.
Watch this episode of the "Health Ranger Report" as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, interviews hazardous materials incident expert Don Loucks regarding what went wrong with the train derailment in Ohio.