Train Derailment in East Palestine


On February 3rd at 8:55 pm EST, freight train 32N derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. The train caused thirty-eight cars to derail and a fire to ignite, with black fumes consisting of vinyl chloride contaminating the air. The preliminary report is set to be out soon, but currently, the incident is carefully being looked into. There were hazardous chemicals carried on the train that leaked into the air, water, and soil. The chemicals spilled are known to cause harm to the environment, specifically to humans and wildlife. The long-term health risks from exposure to these toxic chemicals are still being investigated. Currently, citizens have reported breathing problems, migraines, burning and itchy eyes, sore throat, rashes, and other symptoms. As of now, Ohio is working on keeping its citizens as safe as possible and lawmakers are considering additional safety rules for railroad companies in the aftermath of the accident. Specifically, the USDOT is moving towards more safety protocols. Residents nearby have evacuated in hopes of preventing exposure to the toxic chemicals. As of now, lab results regarding East Palestine’s municipal water supply show no detection of contaminants released as a result of the train derailment.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern over the derailment incident. Yost pointed out a violation of the state’s Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The Norfolk Southern rail company has stated it is going to put in a strong effort to help the community in the aftermath. They plan to help clean the site of the incident, help with repayment, listen to the concerns, and investigate in the community. The lawsuit was filed in order to make sure the railroad company’s promises were put into action. 

The residents of East Palestine remain in a state of fear, with many questions still unanswered. The incident is still being looked into so that any parties responsible can be held accountable. With so many people determined to help, the residents of Ohio should be receiving more information about this tragedy in due time. Currently, there is an estimated 3 month period needed to clean up the derailment site completely.