Were you or your family harmed due to the release of toxic chemicals following a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio? If so, you may be able to file a claim seeking monetary compensation for lung damage, substantial property damage, or injuries. At Parker Waichman LLP, our national law firm is currently reviewing these claims for potential financial compensation. To receive a free consultation, please call our firm at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
According to news reports, a train carrying several cars containing toxic chemicals derailed. As a result, governmental agencies conducted a controlled burn-off of the toxic chemicals. Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro stated that the controlled vent and burn of the hazardous chemicals went “as planned.” Governor Shapiro also urged “Pennsylvanians who live within two miles of East Palestine to shelter in place this evening and keep your windows and your doors closed.”
During a press conference, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that they are currently monitoring the air quality. James Justice with the Environmental Protection Agency noted that the EPA is monitoring the situation until the fire’s out.
Local news reports stated that a large plume of black smoke was observed on Monday as the controlled burn occurred. Law enforcement and government agencies made urgent calls for people in the local area to evacuate as they burned off the chemicals from the Norfolk Southern train. According to law enforcement, the chemical burn-off was necessary to avoid a massive explosion.
News reports stated that East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway issued a mandatory evacuation for residents within one mile of the derailed train. The East Palestine Mayor kept the order in place until late Monday night. However, there was no timeframe provided for when the local residents would be permitted to return to their homes. The affected residents inside the one-mile perimeter included East Palestine and parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The toxic substance of concern was vinyl chloride, and the chemical was being hauled in five rail cars. Vinyl chloride is an extremely unstable chemical that could have exploded, dispersing deadly shrapnel and toxic fumes. According to an Ohio Governor’s Office statement, the Norfolk Southern Railroad initiated a planned release of the vinyl chloride on February 6, 2023. at 3:30 PM. The toxic chemical was released to prevent an uncontrollable explosion that could produce deadly shrapnel.
Local government officials published a map showing a yellow zone and a red zone that were downwind from the chemical burn. Norfolk Southern stated that people who remained in the red area would be “exposed to deadly toxins, and anyone in the yellow area could suffer skin burns and serious lung damage.” The danger zone map also showed the two areas that would be affected by the chemical burn-off. The railroad stated that it would be monitoring air quality with the Ohio EPA.
The derailed train was traveling from Illinois to Pennsylvania. However, it derailed at approximately 9 PM last Friday. The emergency was responded to by over 50 fire departments from three states.
A resident who lives one block from the railroad tracks stated that she heard a massive “loud boom” at approximately nine in the evening last Friday. According to the husband, he witnessed a large “billowing ball of fire” as he was walking their dogs. It is believed that many local residents were exposed to the chemical released from the train derailment.
The National Transportation Safety Board reported on Sunday that they had seen two videos showing potential mechanical problems with one of the car’s axles. According to the National Transportation Safety Board. The train’s engineers activated the train’s emergency brakes after an emergency alarm was triggered. The NTSB states that there were no injuries to those aboard the train.
Fire chief Keith Drabick explained to news reporters that the derailed train was hauling toxic chemicals but did not confirm if the fire involved the hazardous chemicals. Drabick reported that the odor leaking in East Palestine was not dangerous at current levels, and the Environmental Protection Agency was monitoring the chemical release.
Efforts to stop the train’s fire were halted on Saturday night due to firefighters withdrawing from the firefight due to air quality and explosion concerns. The firefighters reengaged the fire after they understood which chemical was on fire. There were numerous explosions that occurred throughout the night, and this posed a danger to firefighters.
East Palestine is a town located on the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania. East Palestine has a population of about 4,700 residents. Citizens of East Palestine who have been exposed to the harmful chemical should contact our law firm to receive a free consultation.
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Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover financial compensation for injuries and deaths caused by harmful chemical exposure. For your free consultation, contact our National Law Firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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