Officials advise evacuation over explosion concerns after train derailment in Ohio

Officials in northeast Ohio are urging people who haven’t already evacuated to do so now after a train derailment in the state sparked fears of a possible explosion.

Ohio GOP Gov. Mike DeWine’s office said in a statement that residents were warned of the “possibility of a catastrophic tanker failure” after a drastic temperature change was discovered in the rail car, he added. That teams are working to contain the explosion. A village scene in East Palestine.

Everyone within a 1-mile radius of the scene was advised to leave immediately. Many people had already left the area, but local officials said more than 500 residents had chosen to stay as of Sunday night.

Federal investigators announced early Sunday that a mechanical problem with the rail car’s axle caused the derailment Friday night near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.

Ohio train derails causing massive fire, forcing village to evacuate

This drone photo shows parts of the Norfolk & Southern freight train that derailed Friday night in East Palestine, Ohio.

Michael Graham, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference that the train’s three-member crew received an alert about a mechanical problem shortly before the derailment, and that the board is still working to determine what caused it. Which railcar is faulty?

According to rail operator Norfolk Southern, about 50 cars derailed in East Palestine when a train was carrying goods from Madison, Illinois to Conway, Pennsylvania. No injuries were reported.

Graham said investigators located “the location of the derailment.” He said the information will be included in a preliminary investigation report that will be released next month or so.

Local officials said emergency responders were monitoring the situation but keeping their distance from the fire, and that recovery efforts could not begin while the train carriages were still burning.

East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway said a man was arrested for obstructing a train. He warned that more arrests would be made if people did not stay away from the crime scene.

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A train is on fire from a field in East Palestine, Ohio.

A train is on fire from a field in East Palestine, Ohio.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to live there, if you’re so close you’re breathing toxic fumes,” he said, noting that air quality monitors far from the fire raised concerns. did not reveal the level and that the town’s water is safe because it uses groundwater that is not affected by some of the materials that enter the rivers.

Environmental Protection Agency crews were working to remove pollution from rivers and monitor water quality.

Sheriffs knocked on doors in the area Sunday to count the remaining residents and encourage people in the evacuation zone to leave. Schools and village offices will remain closed until at least Monday. Businesses within the evacuation zone are not allowed to open on Monday.

Transportation company Norfolk Southern said 20 of the more than 100 cars on the train were classified as carrying hazardous materials. The company said only 10 cars were carrying hazardous materials, and five of them were carrying vinyl chloride. Officials said over the weekend that they had not confirmed that vinyl chloride was released outside the pressure release devices that were working as designed.

According to the federal government’s National Cancer Institute, vinyl chloride, which is used to make polyvinyl chloride a hard plastic resin in many plastic products, is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers.

A train derailed Friday night in an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line and a large fire prompted an evacuation.

A train derailed Friday night in an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line and a large fire prompted an evacuation.

According to a post on the village’s Facebook page, “Short-term exposure to substances associated with fallout does not pose a long-term health risk to residents.” “Vinyl chloride and benzene can cause cancer in people exposed to high concentrations in the workplace over many years; however, there is no indication that any potential post-derailment exposures cause cancer. increases the risk of or any other long-term health effects. members of the community.”

The cars involved in the derailment also contained residues of flammable liquids, butyl acrylate and benzene, officials said Sunday afternoon. He also said that non-hazardous materials like wheat, plastic knives, malt liquor and lubricating oil are being transported.

The evacuation order included 1,500 to 2,000 of the town’s 4,800 to 4,900 residents, though officials acknowledged it was unclear how many were actually affected. Most of the residents who went to the emergency shelter had left by Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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