What We Know About The Ohio Train Derailment
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On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern freight train, en route from Illinois to Pennsylvania, derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Five of the 38 derailed cars contained toxic chemicals. They sparked a massive fire sending heavy smoke in the air. Concerned about more explosions, authorities asked people living within a one-mile area of the site to evacuate.
What chemicals were on the train?
The train was carrying several chemicals. But officials were most concerned about vinyl chloride that was in five cars that had not derailed. The chemical is known to cause dizziness, headaches, and drowsiness. An extended exposure can even result in a rare form of liver cancer.
The officials feared the vinyl chloride would explode and cause more widespread pollution. To prevent that, they authorized a controlled burn-off of the chemical on February 6, 2023. Residents within one mile (1.6 km) of the accident were again asked to leave their homes. Those within two miles (3.2 km) of the site had to shelter in place.
What has happened since?
The evacuation order was lifted on February 8, 2023. Since then, state and federal officials have deemed the area's water and air pollutant-free. But East Palestine residents are skeptical. They can still smell the chemicals in the air. Many have experienced rashes, sore throats, nausea, and headaches since the accident.
Additionally, about 3,500 dead fish were found in nearby waterways in the days following the incident. Experts assert they probably died due to the chemicals released during the derailment. They maintain that the toxins have dispersed from the water in the weeks since.
On February 21, 2023, the EPA ordered Norfolk Southern "to conduct all necessary actions associated with the cleanup from the East Palestine train derailment." This includes removing the contaminated soil and water and transporting it safely. The railway operator will also clear out the dirt and gravel beneath the rail tracks and dispose them offsite. The work entails extracting nearly 2,000 feet (610 m) of rail — about one and a half times the height of the Empire State Building! Norfolk Southern has promised to complete the cleanup by April 30, 2023.
Resources: CNN.com, theGuardian.com, ABCnews.go.com, NPR.org
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- valicivagajo6 daysi feel bad
- leoisalive72836 daysI live in that state so i was only partly affected. One day my mom just asked if i use filtered water instead of tap just in case.
- elimaster997 daysI feel bad for the people of Ohio
- jctlambo0121 daysame i feel bad too
- Akio -San7 daysI Cant imagine how i would feel if that ever happen to me.. God bless them all.
- serene_euphoria7 daysOhh, I feel so bad. People who haven't had this experience just don't what to say. That means me
- reedbasketball8 daysImagine just going to bed, then just hearing a massive explosion. I mean, I used to live there but luckily I don’t anymore. My cousin said he was within a 2 mile radius of the incident. He’s ok tho!
- missaesthetic7 daysHappy your cousin is okay!
- foxgirl288 daysI feel so bad for the people surrounding the area. I hope that their lives will not be impacted by these chemicals... I really wish for their well being. I'm praying for them.
- moviestarmax8 daysMy cousin was in a hotel there but left 2 days before!
- ayahoya5 daysThat is so lucky! I hope he is safe!
- aj_28-20119 daysThat is so sad. Thats crazy!!!
- xeno_aussie9 daysImagine just going to bed, then just hearing a massive explosion. I mean, I used to live there but luckily I don’t anymore. My cousin said he was within a 2 mile radius of the incident. He’s ok tho!