Deadly Train Derailments in Ohio.


Brendan Cabral, Staff

On February 3rd, 2023, a situation occurred in East Palestine, Ohio. That Friday, a freight train going down a railroad carried a hazardous chemical called “Vinyl chloride” within some of its train cars. It wasn’t only a selection of cars holding that one chemical, but even more cars carrying other toxic materials as well. This was a recipe for disaster. Quickly within its trip, the train derailed, causing an unfortunate explosion, releasing pollutants in the air and streams of the chemical flowing around it.

The derailment of the hazardous materials understandably started to get reports across the town, with parents having sick children, dead pets, and dead wildlife animals. More panic began when the materials started to become detected by the samples from rivers and creeks, along with thousands of dead fish across where the samples were taken.

About two days later, on February 5th, another train car showed signs of causing another, more deadly, explosion. Within the one-mile radius of the derailment, the Ohio governor ordered the community living in the area living in the area had to mandatorily evacuate to avoid any deaths or health hazards. It was on February 9th that the mandatory evacuation dispersed. Although the air levels were said to be normal and safe, homes are still getting tested internally to find out if any toxic air was lingering around.

As a result of this horrible chaos for the small town of East Palestine, not only does the city have multiple suspensions, but the nation has questions as well. The derailment triggered a central topic to become discussed with the actions of safety in the modern day that could have avoided this entire situation. The nation needs clarification as to why trains with no modern breaks exist in 2023. The cost of it will cause more chemical spills, and whatever a train is carrying for more years to come if nothing is going to get done about it. It is dangerous, and many people don’t feel safe after this incident. The air and water near them became polluted. The town could only use its own water after the testing, and the community still feels uneasy about using it. It has long-term effects of fear and not just health hazards.

Things need to change for lives and health to be respected. People want to feel safe in their towns and homes. When industries aren’t working on safety concerns that could avoid issues, it will create more problems than solutions.