Todays Stories

Residents Evacuated Before Toxic Chemicals Released From Derailed Tanker Carts Near Ohio-Penn State Line: ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’

Authorities plan to release toxic chemicals into the air from five derailed tanker vehicles that were in danger It explodes on Mondayasking residents near the Ohio-Penn state line to leave immediately or face the possibility of death.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered evacuations in a derailment area that has been on fire since Friday night. He said authorities believed most, if not all, of the residents in the danger area had left, but were knocking on doors again before the vinyl chloride was released inside the cars.

“You need to leave, you just need to leave. This is a matter of life and death,” DeWine said in a press conference ahead of the structured release scheduled for 3:30pm EST.


(Image source: KDKA)

Doing so during the day would allow the fumes to spread more quickly and prevent rail cars from exploding and sending shrapnel and other debris through the neighborhood, said Scott Deutch of the Norfolk Southern Railway.

“We can’t control where that goes,” said Deutsch, who estimated the release would take one to three hours.

He said the process involves using a small charge to blow a hole in the cars, allowing materials to enter the trench and burn them before being released into the air.

The site is very close to the state line, and the evacuation zone extends into a sparsely populated area of ​​Pennsylvania. About half of the 4,800 residents of East Palestine were warned to leave over the weekend before officials decided on Monday to use the orderly release.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said evacuation zone It includes about 20 Pennsylvanians, but as of Sunday night, half had stayed home. The Pennsylvania State Police have been going door to door to help these residents and make sure they leave.

“This is very dangerous,” he said. “I want you to know that if I’m there now, if the First Lady and our children are there now, we’ll evacuate her. We’ll leave this area. It’s potentially very dangerous.”

The forced evictions began Sunday night in the village of East Palestine after authorities became concerned that railway cars might explode after noticing a “sharp change in temperature” in one of the train cars.

Residents were packing their overnight bags, loading their pets into cars and searching for hotel rooms on Monday morning. Police in the village left the call center as the threat of an explosion increased.

Police cars, snow plows and military vehicles of the Ohio National Guard blocked streets leading into the area.

About 50 cars, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed in a fiery accident Friday night, according to rail operator Norfolk Southern and the National Transportation Safety Board. No injuries were reported to crew, residents, or first responders.

Five of them were carriers of vinyl chloride, which is used to make the hard plastic polyvinyl chloride resin in plastic products and is associated with an increased risk of liver and other types of cancer, according to the federal government’s National Cancer Institute.

Federal investigators say the cause of the derailment was a mechanical problem with a railcar axle.

NTSB board member Michael Graham said Sunday that the train’s three-member crew received an alert about the mechanical defect “shortly before the derailment”. He said investigators had pinpointed the exact “deflection point”, but the board was still working to determine which railcar experienced the axle problem.

Declaring a state of emergency in the village, Mayor Trent Conway said one person was arrested for running around the barricades up to the time of the crash. He warned people to stay away and said they could be arrested.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to be there,” he said, “you’re breathing in toxic fumes if you’re close.”

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