Railroad operator Norfolk Southern said the freight train was en route from Madison, Illinois to Conway, Pennsylvania. It derailed when it reached the town of East Palestine in Ohio state, bordering the state of Pennsylvania on the afternoon of February 3 (local time).
The firm AP describes about 50 train carriages that derailed and overturned causing a serious fire that destroyed the goods inside. From here, it was revealed that the train was illegally carrying toxic substances.
Authorities initially noted that 20 of the more than 100 carriages were classified as hazardous materials – substances that are flammable, combustible or pose a risk to the environment. In particular, among the toxic chemicals on board is vinyl chloride.
According to the National Cancer Institute, vinyl chloride is used to make many types of plastic, which can increase the risk of liver cancer and other cancers.
“At this point we are verifying what dangerous substances are contained in the carriages and, if any, breaking the law,” said Michael Graham, a member of the US National Transportation Safety Board.
The scene of the case of 50 train carriages that overturned and burned violently in East Palestine on February 3 (US time). Photo: AP
After the accident, dozens of local and three state fire brigades were mobilized to the scene. However, the fire fighting work faced many difficulties due to the low temperature.
The fire with toxic chemicals continued to spread to the surrounding environment, prompting authorities to evacuate nearly 2,000 people living within a 1.6 km radius in the town of East Palestine. The iron route is still blocked in both directions.
The town of East Palestine covers an area of about 8.2 square kilometers with a population of more than 4,700. The town is located about 82 km northwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The cause of this train derailment is still under investigation, but with the serious nature of the US authorities have opened a federal investigation.
The scene of the train derailed, burning fiercely in the state of Ohio – USA. Source: MXH