Sunday night, officials in East Palestine, Ohio, warned concerns about air quality have been raised after a train carrying hazardous commodities derailed on Friday, causing a massive fire that is still burning.
Residents near the scene of the Ohio train derailment that created a significant fire to leave immediately due to the potential of an explosion.
On Sunday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued a statement saying, “Within the last two hours, a drastic temperature change occurred in a train, and there is now the potential for a catastrophic tanker failure which could cause an explosion with the potential for deadly shrapnel traveling up to a mile.”
The governor has ordered the immediate evacuation of surrounding neighborhoods as firefighters seek to contain the explosion. Local authorities said that although the majority of residents within a mile radius have fled, there are still more than 500 who have refused to do so.
Sherriff Brian McLaughlin of Columbiana County issued a statement saying, “There is a strong likelihood of a poisonous gas discharge and possibly an explosion,” adding that anybody remaining in the vicinity risks arrest.
Fire Chief Keith Drabick ordered everybody still in the affected area to evacuate immediately. “We need to get anyone who stayed within that mile radius – or thought they wanted to come back inside that mile radius – we need you to go now.”
East Palestine’s mayor, Trent Conaway, previously reassured people that it is safe to breathe and drink the air and water even after the Norfolk Southern train tragedy. He added that classes in East Palestine would be suspended on Monday, and the municipal council would not convene.
Earlier reports said the derailment occurred near East Palestine, around 15 miles south of Youngstown. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, looking into the crash, around 20 vehicles were transporting dangerous chemicals.
Conaway said at a previous press conference that both bans were still effective on Sunday. At the press conference, Drabick informed reporters that the situation was still unpredictable and that police could not undertake any operations there. Drabick stated that after the fire is out, crews can only identify all the burned chemicals.
Locals were strongly encouraged to stay inside while the storm raged outside. The mayor said that one individual was detained for disorderly behavior on Saturday night after allegedly getting too near the incident and the train.
“Stay in your house. Conaway said, “I can’t stress this enough.” “Don’t visit our little village.” To purify water and eliminate dissolved pollutants, the government agency built containment dams in local streams and set up three aeration stations with large-volume pumps.