Norfolk Southern train derails in Penn. days after news breaks of multi-millionaire CEO’s massive pay raise

Part of a Norfolk Southern train is sitting in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh River after it jumped the tracks in Lower Saucon Township on Saturday morning.

News of the latest derailment comes “just days after it emerged that Norfolk Southern CEO Alan H. Shaw received a 37 percent pay rise in 2023, the same year his company was involved in another environmentally disastrous derailment in East Palestine, Ohio,” the Daily Mail reports. “Shaw’s total compensation hit an eyewatering $13.4 million in 2023.”

“At this time, and all information is preliminary, there are currently no evacuations, no injuries, and no leaks from any containers,” the County of Northampton stated on Facebook. “Northampton County Emergency Management as well as the Lehigh County Hazmat team are on site and providing support. Norfolk Southern is on site and is doing an assessment.”

Michael Stamets, public information officer at Nancy Run Fire Co., confirmed that two locomotive engines ended up in the water, several train cars were derailed, and the conductors made it out without injuries, according to WFMZ.

“Rescue Engine 1413 is currently on scene with a train derailment in the area of Riverside Dr. in Lower Saucon,” Nancy Run wrote on Facebook. “It is reported there are no injuries, with train cars into the river.”

According to officials, crews were working with Pennsylvania Water Rescue, Northampton County Emergency Management, and the Lehigh County Special Operations Station 42 to monitor the still-developing situation. Stamets assured locals on Saturday morning that, while the crews were looking for any leakage, there was “nothing of concern at this time.”

“We appreciate the quick, professional response by local emergency agencies,” Norfolk Southern said in a statement. “Our crews and contractors are on-scene and developing a clean-up plan.”

“The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has also been notified about the incident,” WFMZ reports.

The latest derailment occurred just over a year after a crashed Norfolk Southern train devastated the rural community of East Palestine, Ohio, and only weeks after President Joe Biden finally managed to shuffle into Ohio to see the damage for himself.

The train was carrying toxic chemicals when it crashed on Feb. 3, 2023, prompting evacuations and shelter-in-place orders as authorities moved to address the release of the chemicals.

Just this week, 2024 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. addressed the disaster in a campaign ad.

As BizPac Review reported, ahead of Biden’s long-overdue visit, East Palestine resident Peggy Caratelli told WTOV9.com, a Steubenville, Ohio-based TV station, said it was “Too little, too late.”

“He has been trying to make some efforts behind the scenes to send different people in to help us. But the story goes that he’s overseeing all that. But as far as the interacting with residents goes and trying to calm their fears or what have you, it hasn’t been happening,” Caratelli said.

According to Angela Ware, Biden was only making the trip to East Palestine “because it’s election season.”

“He don’t care,” Ware said. “He should’ve came a year [ago], like he was supposed to.”

“As well as being ecologically damaging, the derailment cost Norfolk Southern an estimated $1.1 billion and sent share prices plummeting by more than a fifth in the two months after the disaster,” the Daily Mail reports. “Still Shaw was awarded the hefty pay rise, taking his base salary rose up by $200,000 to $1.1 million, while his stock and option awards rose $2.2 million to $10 million.”

“It’s alarming that the board rewarded Mr. Shaw with a massive raise and total compensation of $13.4 million during the same year he presided over industry-worst operating results, sustained underperformance and a tone-deaf response to the derailment in East Palestine,” the  Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, a railroad union, told Fox Business in a statement. “This failure of corporate governance … reinforces the need for sweeping changes to Norfolk Southern’s well paid board.”

Melissa Fine

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