Norfolk Southern conductor struck, killed by dump truck at Ohio steel facility, railroad says

ByKristina Sgueglia, CNN, CNNWire
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Norfolk Southern announces safety upgrades amid derailments
Norfolk Southern says it plans to improve the use of detectors along the tracks that are supposed to spot overheating bearings and other problems in the wake of 2 derailments.

CLEVELAND, Ohio. -- A Norfolk Southern conductor was killed after being struck by a dump truck at a facility in Ohio, marking the third incident involving the railroad in the state in just over a month, CNN reported.

The conductor, identified as Louis Shuster, was fatally injured early Tuesday morning at Cleveland-Cliffs' Cleveland Works property, the railroad said in a news release.

Shuster was struck as a train was moving through a crossing at the facility, the release said. Norfolk Southern is working with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the Cleveland Police Department and Cleveland-Cliffs representatives to learn more, it said.

SEE ALSO | NTSB sending investigators to site of Norfolk Southern train derailment in Springfield, Ohio

The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the death and sending crews to the scene, it said on Twitter.

"Norfolk Southern has been in touch with the conductor's family and will do all it can to support them and his colleagues. We are grieving the loss of a colleague today. Our hearts go out to his loved ones during this extremely difficult time," the railroad said.

Cleveland-Cliffs is a flat-rolled steel company, according to its website, and its Cleveland Works facility sits on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland.

CNN has reached out to Cleveland-Cliffs, Cleveland police and the Ohio governor's office for more information.

RELATED | No signs of spill after Norfolk Southern freight train derails in Springfield, Ohio: officials

The conductor's death comes as Norfolk Southern is facing criticism for two recent derailments in Ohio, including one in East Palestine last month that resulted in the release and burning of a toxic chemical that left nearby residents complaining of headaches, coughing and rashes they believe are tied to the fiery crash.

As the railroad works with the Environmental Protection Agency to remediate the site, it announced a new six-point safety plan Monday designed to help prevent similar derailments in the future.

And in Springfield, about 200 miles southwest of East Palestine, another Norfolk Southern freight train derailed Saturday.

The crash knocked out power and the area and resulted in a temporary shelter-in-place order for homes within 1,000 feet of the scene. Crews later determined nothing had spilled from the derailed cars and there was no environmental harm.

Casualties, including injuries and deaths, involving railroad employees are not uncommon, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration, which shows there were more than 13,500 incidents involving on-duty employees across the industry in 2022, including 1,060 involving Norfolk Southern employees.

Forty-two rail employees died while on duty last year, the administration said. Five of those individuals were Norfolk Southern employees.

READ MORE | East Palestine residents confront town leaders, Norfolk Southern

The video in the player above is from a previous report.

(The-CNN-Wire & 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.)