A town in East Palestine, Ohio, is dealing with a toxic chemical explosion after a freight train unexpectedly derailed near its borders on February 3. 20 wagons were transporting hazardous materials, which led to the death of animals and nausea among citizens. However, the Environmental Protection Agency said no “levels of concern” had been detected.
A 150-car Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine. 20 cars contained hazardous chemicals including vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate and ethylene glycol monobutyl. On February 10, the EPA confirmed that toxic chemicals had contaminated the air, soil and water near the crash site.
After a train crash, a fire raged over the weekend in the town of East Palestine. Citizens were forced to evacuate due to concerns that the train would explode.
The crew decided to release the contents of five tankers that contained vinyl chloride. They also drained other toxic chemicals into the trench. Then there was a loud bang, which led to the release of a huge cloud of phosgene and hydrogen chloride.
After the fire was under control and five days after the slide, the evacuation was called off and residents were told to return to their homes.
Has the train crash in East Palestine affected the drinking water supply?
On February 12, the EPA announced that there were no worrisome levels of toxic chemicals released into the city. After the train crash, soil and water were investigated.
On February 10, the EPA announced that toxic substances had been found in “Sulphur Run, Leslie Run, Bull Creek, North Fork Little Beaver Creek, Little Beaver Creek and the Ohio River.” It was also revealed that the accident led to the death of 3,500 fish in 7.5 miles of streams.
ABC News reported that air and water samples collected in the region were “considered safe.” However, the West Virginia water company has announced that it will take precautions regarding the water supply. West Virginia American Water said water from the Ohio River is not threatened, however, a secondary source of water from the Guyandotte River has been put in place.
To prevent water contamination, the EPA also announced that they have installed a dam and water bypass on Sulfur Run.
Norfolk Southern faces lawsuit after crash
Two residents of eastern Palestine filed a lawsuit against the train operator seeking payment for medical examinations and related care for anyone living within a 30-mile radius of the accident. The EPA has already secured the health screenings offered by Norfolk Southern.
The organization also announced that they have donated $1 million to more than 700 East Palestinian families to cover evacuation costs. They also reportedly provided assistance to local city businesses. In addition, a $220,000 donation was made to firefighters and another $25,000 donation to the Ohio Red Cross.
The company also announced that train cars containing butyl acrylate and ethylhexyl acrylate were punctured, leading to the release of the chemicals during the accident in East Palestine. Many continue to point the finger at Norfolk Southern and ask why they weren’t aware the cars were at risk.