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Schumer, Lowey Express Concern After Latest Train Derailment

Freight train cars off the tracks in Newburgh on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Instagram
U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, is pushing for stricter safety regulations on freight trains like one that derailed on Tuesday near his Newburgh office. Photo Credit: File

This story has been updated.

U.S. Reps. Nita Lowey and Sean Patrick Maloney joined Sen. Charles Schumer on Tuesday in expressing concern about the latest freight train derailment that injured two CSX crew members as the southbound train passed through Newburgh en route to Rockland County, and ultimately Georgia.

According to multiple news reports, the train struck a boom whip that crossed the tracks. Three locomotives and 14 railcars derailed, spilling fuel and "a small amount" of sulfuric acid in the City of Newburgh. The train also was carrying sodium hydroxide, cardboard, corn oil and glass products when it derailed, according to a CSX spokesman.

Maloney, D-Cold Spring, said, “I am getting sick and tired of issuing statements about dangerous train derailments – this time only blocks from my office in Newburgh. I’m glad to hear reports that no one was killed but even one injury is too many. It’s got to stop."

A spokeswoman for Schumer, a New York Democrat, issued this statement: "Our office is in close contact with FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) and local officials," said Jason Kaplan.

"Our thoughts are with those who were impacted by this derailment, and with the first responders currently on scene. Senator Schumer will work closely with FRA and other federal safety organizations to quickly get to the bottom of what caused this dangerous accident,” Kaplan said.

Congresswoman Lowey, D-Harrison, said: “Yet again the quick and decisive action of our first responders demonstrated that these brave women and men are so critical to protecting our communities. Thankfully there were no injuries, but this derailment is part of a disturbing pattern of accidents involving freight trains carrying hazardous materials through densely populated areas. We must build on the progress we have made to improve rail safety and decrease risks to our communities.”

Maloney added, “While we don’t yet know why the train derailed we do know that outdated train cars barreling down the Hudson River carrying hazardous materials are literally a train wreck waiting to happen."

"We have to get smarter about how we transport crude oil, and invest in installing positive train control (PTC) on all our trains – the longer we fail to prioritize investing in rail safety infrastructure and technology, the more innocent lives we put in jeopardy," Maloney said.

In Mississippi, meanwhile, four people were killed earlier Tuesday when a freight train slammed into a tourist bus headed to a Biloxi, Miss., casino at a railroad crossing.

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