Nancy Run Fire Company
A freight train derailed along the Lehigh River in eastern Pennsylvania on Saturday.
CNN  — 

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a derailment involving three Norfolk Southern trains in eastern Pennsylvania on Saturday, NTSB spokesperson Sarah Taylor Sulick said.

The freight train wreck occurred along the Lehigh River in Lower Saucon Township, just east of Allentown, causing multiple container cars to leave the tracks and two locomotives to roll over onto the river’s embankment.

There were no reported injuries or leaks of hazardous materials, Sulick said. An NTSB team of experts in train operations, signals and train control, mechanical systems, and human performance was expected to arrive later Saturday.

“Preliminary information indicates that an eastbound NS train struck a stopped NS train on the same track,” Sulick said in the an NTSB statement. “The wreckage from the striking train spilled onto an adjacent track and was struck by a westbound NS train. The collision led to the derailment of an unknown number of cars.”

Thirteen months ago, on February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern train derailment caused a massive fire fueled by toxic chemicals and the evacuation of much of a small Ohio town.

The Federal Railroad Administration said it was working with emergency responders and local authorities, as well as assisting the NTSB in the investigation of Saturday’s derailment.

Emergency personnel at the scene just after 7 a.m. found diesel fuel had spilled, Lower Saucon Police Chief Thomas H. Barndt told reporters Saturday morning. Containment booms were deployed to clean up the spill.

“There was also a spill of polypropylene plastic pellets from one of the derailed rail cars,” the police chief said.

Crews and contractors from Norfolk Southern also responded to the derailment, and were developing a clean-up plan, according to railroad spokesperson Connor Spielmaker.

Norfolk Southern said in a statement the diesel fuel leak “has been contained with booms and will be vacuumed out.” The rail car “containing plastic pellets spilled predominantly onto the ground” and will also be cleaned up.

The company said there was “no threat to the public, no hazardous material concerns from the railcars, and no reports of injuries to our crew members.”

“We are always working to advance safety. We will investigate this incident to understand how it happened and prevent others like it,” Spielmaker said in a statement.

It was unclear how many train cars derailed but images released by the Nancy Run Fire Company appeared to show nearly a dozen derailed train cars, including a partially submerged locomotive.

Nancy Run Fire Company
The National Transportation Safety Board says it's investigating Saturday's collision and derailment.

Last year’s Norfolk Southern derailment ignited a dayslong inferno, spewing poisonous fumes into the air, killing thousands of fish and leaving residents to wonder if it was safe to live in East Palestine, Ohio.

The fiery derailment in Ohio prompted fears of a catastrophic explosion of vinyl chloride – a highly flammable chemical linked to an increased risk of cancer. After a mandatory evacuation order, crews released vinyl chloride into a trench and burned it off – averting an explosion but spawning new health concerns.

In March 2023, the US Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against Norfolk Southern, alleging violations of the Clean Water Act and seeking damages over the train derailment and subsequent environmental disaster in East Palestine.

Norfolk Southern at the time said in a statement that it was making “progress every day cleaning up the site, assisting residents whose lives were impacted by the derailment, and investing in the future of East Palestine and the surrounding areas.”

Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw received a 37% increase in compensation last year, even after the financially and ecologically disastrous derailment in East Palestine.

Shaw received $13.4 million in total compensation in 2023, up from $9.8 million in 2022. His base salary rose $200,000 to $1.1 million, and his stock and option awards rose $2.2 million to $10 million.

The accident cost the railroad $1.1 billion, according to its most recent estimate.

This story has been updated with additional information.