Paulsboro Officials Fire Back At NTSB Criticism - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Paulsboro Officials Fire Back At NTSB Criticism On Train Derailment

Posted: Updated:
Paulsboro Police Chief Chris Wachter talks to FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser Paulsboro Police Chief Chris Wachter talks to FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser
NTSB criticism of local response NTSB criticism of local response
PAULSBORO, N.J. -

"Unfair and unwarranted."

That was Paulsboro Police Chief Chris Wachter firing back at federal investigators after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) claimed that local officials may have done more harm than good when a train derailed in New Jersey last November.

"Federal investigators are saying that; federal government at its best," said Chief Wachter. "We did what we thought we had to do at the moment. It unfolded very quickly."

The NTSB said that Paulsboro officials didn't follow safety standards for handling a chemical spill, compounding first responders and the public's exposure to the 23,000 gallons of vinyl chloride that leaked from the derailed freight train.

"Once we realized what we had is when we started to make the other precautionary measures, sheltering in place, moving people in and out trying to lock everything down," Wachter responded.

"No one should criticize them," said Paulsboro resident Janice Callahan. "They did what they thought was best, but they didn't have the correct information." When asked who she blames, "It's Conrail," she said.

Paulsboro residents defended local authorities and first responders, but the NTSB claims that they set up a command post too close to the spill hot zone. That first responders should have been wearing breathing apparatus and that local residents should have been evacuated, not told to stay indoors.

"They weren't here. They don't know," Wachter said. "They can say what they want to say. We know we did what was appropriate for the community."

"The NTSB has requested that we don't comment on that so we're adhering to that," said Conrail spokesman Kirk Dorn.

While Conrail wouldn't comment, 24 local first responders have filed suit against the rail company since the spill. Claiming they suffer from headaches, breathing and neurological problems.

"We just hope to finally get some answers; just finally get to the bottom of this," Danielle Doran told FOX 29. She lives a few hundred yards from the derailment site. "I'm concerned about our health, we have children, concerned for their health nobody knows what's going to happen in the future."

"You can always do things better, always do things a little cleaner, always a little faster. You take these opportunities to learn," Wachter added.

Chief Wachter said local officials want to know exactly what happened leading up to the derailment and when or if Conrail plans to replace the bridge where the derailment occurred.

Wachter said he and all of his officers who responded to the scene have undergone medical testing, just in case any symptoms develop in the future.

The NTSB hearings will continue on Wednesday.

  • Dave SchratwieserMore>>

  • Suspect Arrested In Upper Merion Burglary, Home Invasion

    Suspect Arrested In Upper Merion Burglary, Home Invasion

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:05 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:05:55 GMT
    SkyFOX was over the scene in Upper Merion just after 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning where police say what started as a burglary turned into a home invasion.
    SkyFOX was over the scene in Upper Merion just after 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning where police say what started as a burglary turned into a home invasion.
  • Police: Makeshift Drug Lab Found In Northeast Philly Apartment

    Police: Makeshift Drug Lab Found In Northeast Philly Apartment

    Monday, July 14 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-14 21:14:24 GMT

    Police say they discovered what appears to be a drug lab inside a Northeast Philadelphia home Monday morning. FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser reports investigators were called out after the landlord found some chemicals inside.

    Police say they discovered what appears to be a drug lab inside a Northeast Philadelphia home Monday morning. FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser reports investigators were called out after the landlord found some chemicals inside.

  • Police: Pharmaceutical Delivery Man Shot In North Philadelphia

    Police: Pharmaceutical Delivery Man Shot In North Philadelphia

    Thursday, July 10 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-07-10 21:37:02 GMT
    NORTH PHILADELPHIA-Police say gunfire broke out near a daycare in North Philadelphia and ended with a pharmaceutical delivery man shot.Fox 29’s Dave Schratwieser reports.The incident happened outside a pharmacy and was allcaught on tape. The tape shows one of the suspects, police say, was involved in Thursday morning's daring robbery and shooting of a pharmaceutical delivery driver at 24th and Ridge.“One or two people approached him, and they robbed, they shot him with a gun,” said Wellness P...
    NORTH PHILADELPHIA-Police say gunfire broke out near a daycare in North Philadelphia and ended with a pharmaceutical delivery man shot.Fox 29’s Dave Schratwieser reports.The incident happened outside a pharmacy and was allcaught on tape. The tape shows one of the suspects, police say, was involved in Thursday morning's daring robbery and shooting of a pharmaceutical delivery driver at 24th and Ridge.“One or two people approached him, and they robbed, they shot him with a gun,” said Wellness P...
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Suspect Arrested In Upper Merion Burglary, Home Invasion

    Suspect Arrested In Upper Merion Burglary, Home Invasion

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:05 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:05:55 GMT
    SkyFOX was over the scene in Upper Merion just after 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning where police say what started as a burglary turned into a home invasion.
    SkyFOX was over the scene in Upper Merion just after 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning where police say what started as a burglary turned into a home invasion.
  • 'Tuesday's Children' Remembers Family Members Lost To Terrorism

    'Tuesday's Children' Remembers Family Members Lost To Terrorism

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:35 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:35:22 GMT
    These children all share a common bond. They've all lost someone they love - because of terrorism.
    These children all share a common bond. They've all lost someone they love - because of terrorism.
  • Shoppers Get Sneak Peak Of New Target Store In King Of Prussia

    Shoppers Get Sneak Peak Of New Target Store In King Of Prussia

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:58 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:58:18 GMT
    Shoppers got a sneak peak of the mega Target store located by the King of Prussia mall on Tuesday.
    Shoppers got a sneak peak of the mega Target store located by the King of Prussia mall on Tuesday.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices