What’s Happening in Ohio?


Image by Felipe Albertella via Unsplash

On February 3, 2023, a freight train was traveling through East Palestine, Ohio when 38 cars derailed. Of those 38, 11 of them contained hazardous materials.

Officials report that an overheated wheel bearing was the cause of this derailment, but since it occurred things have only gotten worse for the surrounding area. In an event that was entirely preventable, a fire sparked, causing damage to 12 additional rail cars.

A decision was made for the materials to go up in a “controlled release.” This decision is now facing backlash because the release causes a plume of burning chemicals to spread into the surrounding area. The toxins have traveled through air, water, and soil causing panic and also a scramble to clean up the contamination.

Locals are fearful as they seek out health screenings, and no one is sure of how the toxins will affect residents long term. Full information has yet to be released on how safe the environment is following the fire and release, but so far officials say there is no evidence of contamination in water. There is in fact contaminated soil and water closer to the crash site that removal crews are working on cleaning up.