Norfolk Southern Train Derails Into Lehigh River in Pennsylvania


A freight train derailed into a river in eastern Pennsylvania Saturday morning, days after it was revealed that the train company’s CEO received a significant pay raise last year.

The company, Norfolk Southern, was also behind the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio that caused lasting environmental damage.

Saturday’s derailment took place in ​​Lower Saucon Township, population 11,000. Local police shut off the road leading to the site, where the train plunged into the Lehigh River, but the county government reported “no evacuations, no injuries, and no leaks from any containers.”

Some of the train cars were marked as carrying hazardous chemicals but were found to be empty, Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure told local news station WMTZ. He added that there was “no danger to the general public at this time."

Norfolk Southern said in a statement that there was “no threat to the public, no hazardous material concerns from the railcars, and no reports of injuries to our crew members.”

“Our crews and contractors will remain on-scene over the coming days to cleanup, and we appreciate the public’s patience while they work as quickly, thoroughly, and as safely as possible,” the company said, adding that it would “investigate this incident to understand how it happened and prevent others like it.”

The derailment followed reports that Norfolk Southern CEO Alan H. Shaw received a 37 percent pay raise last year, the same year as the derailment in East Palestine that forced the evacuation of much of the small town. The CEO received $13.4 million in salary and stock options in 2023, up from $9.8 million in 2022, part of which could be attributable to 2023 being Shaw’s first full year as president. The company’s net income fell 44 percent that year.

The evacuation orders in East Palestine were lifted last year, and the EPA says the air and water are safe, but several dozen residents have yet to return to their homes for fear of the toxic chemicals that were released in the accident, according to the Associated Press. Others have reported respiratory problems, rashes or headaches.

Norfolk Southern says it has given more than $100 million to restoring the community to date. “The way they’ll trust is you make promises and you keep promises,” Shaw told the AP. “And that’s exactly what we’ve done over the past year.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.