Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday he plans to visit East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailment disaster occurred early this month, without specifying when he would do so.
Buttigieg told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America that he is “planning to go” to the town, saying “our folks were on the ground” early on after the incident. The Feb. 3 derailment of the Norfolk Southern freight train carrying chemicals caused a huge fire and led to an evacuation order for 2,000 residents, according to WKBN, and Stephanopoulos had pointed out that shouts of “Where’s Pete Buttigieg?” marked a town hall meeting last week.
“I do want to stress that the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) needs to be able to do its work independently,” Buttigieg said. “When I go, it will be about action on rail safety, like the actions that we are calling on Congress to help us with, that we are calling on industry to take and that we are undertaking ourselves as a department to help make sure that these kinds of things don’t happen in the future.”
Buttigieg sent Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw a letter Sunday saying he would urge Congress to “raise the cap on fines against railroads for violating safety regulations.”
The Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.