On Sunday evening, an order was given to evacuate those who live near the place where the train derailed.
EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — from evacuated residents Awaiting word on when they will be able to return home, officials held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to provide updates on the train derailment in eastern Palestine.
This update comes every other day officials conducted a controlled chemical release As Ohio Governor Mike DeWine noted, the contents of the five rail cars “are currently unstable and could potentially explode, causing a deadly release of shrapnel and toxic fumes.” By Monday evening, Norfolk Southern Railway’s Scott Deutsch said they were “very pleased” with the outcome.
“The blast went perfectly, and we’ve already reached the point where the cars are safe,” Deutsch said. “They weren’t safe before this (controlled release).”
Drone footage from Photography Matters LLC captured the moment the explosion triggered the controlled release. You can see the footage below:
Officials with the railroad, along with the village, the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Tuesday that the source of the fire was contained and that all five cars containing the dangerous chemical vinyl chloride were no longer burning. Since then, four cars have been taken out for further inspection by the National Transportation Safety Board, and crews are waiting for the last one to move.
Residents within a one-mile radius of Friday’s crash were ordered to evacuate under threat of arrest. While the situation appears to be improving, there is still no timetable for when those people can return to their homes, and officials are still collecting air quality data and increasing overall monitoring.
“We didn’t find anything significant at the site outside of the evacuation zone,” James Justice of the US EPA told reporters. “We have responded to a number of concerns from people noticing odors and smoke in other areas and we have sent joint teams to gather evidence there. We have not identified any levels of concern at that time.”
Near the end of the news conference, East Palestine Fire Chief Keith Drabik was frustrated by questions about when the evacuation order might end, refusing to offer any specifics until “experts” gave him more information.
“I want nothing more than to bring my residents home,” Drabik said. “I can’t do this without this data… I’m not an expert in this field; I’m a firefighter.”
After exchanging information, Drabik and the public information representatives abruptly stopped the briefing. You can watch the statements from all the officials in the player below:
Norfolk Southern also later released the following statement:
“Early this morning, Norfolk Southern and its contractors began clearing the site of the derailed cars and are continuing cleanup efforts. As of today, several cars have been cleared of debris and our crews continue to clear the site. National Transportation The Safety Board will inspect the vehicles at the stop and once they are cleared, we will remove them completely from the area. Norfolk Southern is working with local and state officials to refine the recovery plan as needed and is working around the clock to clean up the Air Monitoring , soil and water continues at the scene and in the evacuation zone in coordination with state and federal agencies. Our Family Assistance Center (FAC) remains open to community members. We also assist local business owners with questions through the FAC and when the evacuation is complete , south Norfolk representatives plan to stay in the community to and further help res. IDs and business owners. “
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