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Lt. Col. (ret.) John Glen Weaver's statement on the Gothenburg, Nebraska train derailment

OMAHA, NE - Today, Lt Col (ret) Weaver made the following statement regarding Tuesday’s Union Pacific train derailment in Gothenburg, Nebraska. First and foremost, his thoughts and prayers are with the rescue workers and the great citizens of Gothenburg. Nebraskans are strong and resilient and will get through this tragic event with the support of each other.


“For a string of leadership failures and lack of responsiveness at the Department of Transportation leading up to the catastrophic train derailment in Gothenburg, Nebraska, I am calling on President Biden to remove Pete Buttigieg as the Secretary of Transportation. His complete failure in leadership over the last year is unprecedented and inexcusable. On Tuesday, February 21st, at approximately 1:45 am a Union Pacific train of about 31 cars carrying coal derailed in Gothenburg, Nebraska. The news media is reporting that no one was injured and that no hazardous materials were involved. Thank God. We were lucky.


Over the past few months, we have seen nothing but tragedy and confusion in our transportation infrastructure. On Monday in Riverbank, California, another Union Pacific train derailed causing destruction. On February 3rd, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio spilling toxic chemicals that harmed people and property. In December 2022, Southwest Airlines left passengers stranded for days. In January an FAA system outage caused thousands of delays and cancellations. This long list of failures in leadership by Secretary Buttigieg are not just small mistakes; they are chronic and deeply rooted in incompetence. These failures undermine the public’s trust in our Nation’s transportation infrastructure. There must be accountability for this incompetence. To maintain the public’s trust in our infrastructure and transportation, Sec Buttigieg must resign immediately. If he does not resign, I am calling on Congress to impeach him.


When it is safe and when authorities will allow it, Lt Col (ret) Weaver plans to visit the scene of this accident to learn about what caused it and how we can prevent future accidents. Americans and Nebraskans deserve honesty and transparency throughout this process.


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