Ohio’s Toxic Train Wreck


Kash Kupfer, Reporter

There was a train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio on February 23, 2023. This train was on its way from Madison, Illinois to Conway, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, while going through the small town of East Palestine, Ohio, the train fell off course and caused a massive leakage. The train contained tons of toxic chemicals in it’s cargo. Residents have been complaining about feeling sick after the toxic chemicals infested the local air, soil, and water.

Investigators have been looking into this incident and have said this could have been fully preventable. A NTSB reporter found out that one of the train cars was carrying plastic pellets that were heated by a very hot axle, which started the initial fire. Many citizens are getting very upset because this could have been prevented if the plastic was moved and not in close proximity to the dangerously hot axle.

The next set of investigations will begin by examining the train’s wheelset and bearing as well as the damage of the derailment. Additionally, they will also start investigating the trains operated use outside of the detractors. Another change will be to improve the train cars so something like this will never happen again. Five of the thirty-eight derailed cars were also carrying 115,000 gallons of a dangerous chemical, vinyl chloride, which is toxic and can cause different types of cancer.

Another devastating factor about this train wreck is the water that was used. Over two million gallons of water from Texas were used put out the explosion. The water was transported with trucks from Texas to Ohio. They have discovered that the crew on this train had nothing to do with the accident and they are not at fault. This disaster will take approximately 12 to 18 months to clean up.

The EPA is making Norfolk Southern, the train company, clean up the mess and is fining them $70,000 for each day it is not cleaned up. Hope for the small town is high as many across the nation voice their concern about the travesty that has occurred.