Posted BY: RM | NwoReport
Residents evacuated from an Ohio village where a freight train derailed before huge clouds of toxic gasses were released in an explosion fear they could still be in danger nearly two weeks later, despite authorities telling them it’s safe to return home.
About 50 cars, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed in a fiery crash in East Palestine at about 9pm on Friday, February 3.
Houses were evacuated after vinyl chloride was slowly released from five of those cars. Authorities then ignited the gases for a ‘controlled release’ of the highly flammable, toxic chemicals in a controlled environment, creating a dark plume of smoke.
Officials warned the controlled burn would send phosgene and hydrogen chloride into the air. Phosgene is a highly toxic, colorless gas with a strong odor that can cause vomiting and breathing trouble and was used as a weapon in World War I.
Despite the threat, safety officials insisted it is safe for residents who were evacuated to return to their homes just days later.
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Sil Caggiano, a hazardous materials specialist and former fire department chief, said he was ‘surprised’ residents were allowed to return home so quickly before all of their homes were tested.
‘I would’ve far rather they did all the testing [first],’ he said. ‘There’s a lot of what ifs, and we’re going to be looking at this thing 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the line and wondering, ‘Gee, cancer clusters could pop up, you know, well water could go bad.’
He added: ‘We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open.’
Several residents have opted to stay away from East Palestine over claims they haven’t been given sufficient information or safety assurances.
Some said a chemical smell still lingers in the area and claim they’ve had symptoms which include trouble breathing and burning eyes. Dead fish were spotted in waterways around the scene after the incident.