Train derails in Van Buren Township outside Detroit, one car carrying hazardous materials, same operator as East Palestine derailment

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A train derailment happened on Thursday morning in Van Buren Township outside Detroit, Michigan. Despite one of the cars carrying hazardous materials, the accident is not a hazmat situation, according to WBJK.

At least seven cars derailed in the accident in Van Buren Township.

According to Van Buren Township Public Safety, “There is no evidence of exposed hazardous materials, as no train cars containing hazardous materials were compromised. There are no injuries reported.”

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said there were no indications that there was a threat to the public.

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Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) released a statement that read, “We are also in touch with the relevant federal authorities, including the EPA. 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.”

Police are asking residents to avoid the area completely. Haggerty Road will be closed south of I-94 , and Huron River Drive west of Haggerty will not be open.

The cause of the train derailment has yet to be determined. The investigation is active and ongoing.

WDIV-TV reported that the train was operated by Norfolk Southern – the same operator behind the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

The derailment comes less than two weeks after about 50 cars carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. The train derailment released toxic chemicals into the area, including ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate, isobutylene, vinyl chloride, hydrogen chloride, and phosgene.

There have been more than a dozen train derailments in the U.S. so far this year, according to Newsweek. However, there are more train derailments in the U.S. than some may estimate.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics is part of the Department of Transportation that tracks and analyzes statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics. The BTS has been keeping annual stats on train derailments since 1990.

The BTS said there have been 4,539 accidents in which a train derailed between 1990 and 2021 – an average of 1,704 derailments per year.

In the same time frame, 5,547 people were injured from a train derailment, or roughly 174 per year. There have been 131 fatalities during that same time period, or about four deaths a year.

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Authorities investigate train derailment in Van Buren

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