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Ohio Train Explosion Accident: Derailment May Lead to Serious Health Risks

Residents in and around the town of East Palestine, Ohio, fear for the health of their families following the derailment of a train carrying highly toxic chemicals earlier this month. The train in question derailed at East Palestine, resulting in multiple cars being violently thrown off the tracks, including at least 20 tanker units that carried a highly toxic, combustible, and potentially deadly chemicals that included vinyl chloride. Information on the number of cars carrying harmful substances was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA.

The train was operated by Norfolk Southern. The ill-fated train consisted of approximately 150 cars.

Toxic Substances at Risk in Potential Ohio Train Explosion Accident

According to Norfolk Southern and governmental authorities, the full range of toxic substances on the train are:

  • Vinyl chloride
  • Butyl acrylate
  • Ethylhexyl acrylate
  • Ethylene glycol monobutyl ethers

Widespread Mandatory Evacuation Ordered

Following the derailment, the risk of a massive, truly catastrophic explosion was so significant that a broad evacuation was ordered over a wide zone of more than one mile. The evacuation included a swath on both sides of the Ohio and Pennsylvania border. The evacuation zone was a one by two mile area extending from the site of the derailment.

Controlled Release of Toxic Chemicals

Once this evacuation was affected, officials carried out what they termed a controlled release and burn-off of the hazardous chemicals contained in the tanker railcars. Officials advised that this type of release needed to occur because of the potential risk of a massive explosion that could have destroyed everything in a one-mile radius.

The controlled release was undertaken by drilling holes in the sides of impacted tanker cars. The toxic gas was released into what is described as a trench and was immediately burned off. This resulted in extremely thick plumes of black and gray smoke that rose and spread over a wide area, including in both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Limited Information Provided by Governmental Authorities

As of Wednesday morning, a major concern persists that governmental authorities presumed to have information about health and environmental impacts of the Ohio train derailment have been very limited in providing information about risks to the community. Indeed, they have been tight-lipped about how far reaching the environmental and health impacts of the Ohio train derailment may be at this time and going forward into the future.

Growing Number of Area Residents Report Becoming Ill

Residents in East Palestine, Ohio – the area presumed to be most impacted by the derailment – are reporting that they are experiencing different types of negative physical responses that they attribute to the accident and so-called release of toxic chemicals. These reports include multiple cases of children reporting becoming sick.

Large Number of Dead Fish Reported

As noted a moment ago, one of the points of concern was water contamination by the toxic chemicals released following the train derailment. On Tuesday afternoon, a growing number of fish in surrounding waterways were reported dead. Indeed, the number topped over 5,000 by late afternoon on Valentine’s Day.

Governor Recommends Using Bottled Water

As also mentioned previously, there has been great concern about a lack of information from governmental authorities. At a press conference on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, the Governor of Ohio recommended that people in the previous evacuation zones should stick to drinking bottled water because of concerns about the possible contamination of available drinking water derived from area natural resources (streams and rivers).

If you believe that you may have been harmed as a result of the Ohio train derailment, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can reach The Doan Law Firm any time of the day or night by calling us at (800) 349-0000. A train derailment accident lawyer is available to meet with you – at no cost and no obligation – at any time that is convenient for you.

The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. Our firm never charges an attorney fee unless we win your case for you. Our train derailment accident lawyer team is committed to fight tirelessly for justice, accountability, and the compensation you deserve in your case.

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