Feb 6, 2023
A state of emergency has been declared through Monday night for East Palestine, Ohio. The small town is the site of a huge, 50-car train derailment. Officials warned people to stay clear of the debris. They say some of the freight cars had harmful contents.
“Please stay away from East Palestine,” said the town’s mayor. “Please stay away from the wreck … it is still a very volatile situation.”
No one died in the accident. Fire crews, though, had a hard time putting out the resulting fire. At least 20 freight cars were filled with dangerous chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is monitoring the air quality in the area. Roughly 2,000 of East Palestine’s 4,600 residents were evacuated to shelters.
Officials focused on a chemical called vinyl chloride. It's known to cause cancer. The train’s tankers were carrying it. The EPA said it seems that containers holding vinyl chloride had not been broken so far. Local water supplies were not contaminated. Still, some residents are worried.
“I worry about smoke damage at my shop and the possibility of smoke (or) vapor damage at home,” one man told The Washington Post. “I was also thinking about the chemicals and materials … I’m worried about the long-term effects at this point.”
Photo by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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