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In the village of East Palestine, Ohio which is located in Columbiana County a Norfolk Southern freight train 32N derailed around 8:55PM on February 3rd, 2023. The train was loaded with 141 cars, nine empty cars, and three locomotives. It was also carrying hazardous chemicals, including vinyl chloride, from the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis yard Madison, IL to Norfolk Southern’s Conway Yard in Conway, PA. The derailment created a fire which lasted for several days which also included a controlled burn. This led to a mandatory evacuation of residents.
There is growing concern on social media that this event could be the United States “chernobyl” due to the chemicals which were burned. 14 cars were carrying vinyl chloride which was the concern of the controlled burn. Norfolk Southern, the State of Ohio, Mike Dewine and many others have assured people that there is no risk to health. However, there has been strong odors in the air and numerous deaths of animals. Some experts believe it will be many years before the extent of the damage is understood to health.