Ohio Train Derailment Leads to Toxic Nightmare: Are You At Risk?

If you live in or near Ohio, you may have been affected by a train derailment that occurred in early February 2023. The incident has caused an environmental nightmare as it released toxic, hazardous materials into the air and water. In addition to the physical risks posed by these substances, there are also health risks associated with exposure.

Are you affected by the train derailment accident in East Palestine, Ohio?

You may be eligible for compensation.

On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern Corporation train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, causing concern among local residents about the potential impact on their health and safety. The incident highlights the vulnerability of many Americans to such accidents and the importance of addressing safety concerns related to the transportation of hazardous materials.

Train Carrying Hazardous Chemicals Goes Off Track

At least 50 out of the 150 railroad cars stumbled off the tracks while traveling from Conway, Pennsylvania to Madison, Illinois. The derailment happened near East Palestine, Ohio – a charming home for approximately 5,000 individuals located at the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania. Fortunately though no one was severely injured or killed in this terrible accident.

Given that over a dozen train compartments contained vinyl chloride — a potential carcinogen — officials mandated an evacuation within 1-mile radius around the crash site as soon as possible to protect nearby residents from exposure to potentially hazardous byproducts released by fire.

On February 6th, the authorities declared it mandatory to evacuate and warned of potential arrestment for those who refused. Governor Mike DeWine made sure that everyone knew how serious this was by warning them that leaving was a matter of life or death. To prevent an explosion from occurring, workers released hazardous chemicals via five derailed tankers into pits which were then set ablaze. Images portraying these events show huge plumes of black smoke emanating from the sky over residential areas — emphasizing the gravity of this situation even more than before.

The Impact of the Ohio Chemical Spill to the Community

ohio train derailment

The most concerning toxin transported by the derailed train was vinyl chloride, a highly flammable chemical used in creating polyvinyl chloride (PVC), an inflexible resin included in plastic products.

Vinyl chloride, a hazardous chemical present in the derailment, has been linked to rare liver cancer as well plastic-related lung and leukemia. Short-term exposure can cause dizziness and drowsiness while severe cases require hospitalization leading to death. Furthermore, Butyl Acrylate was aboard this incident which is also used for plastic production.

However, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recently revealed three additional compounds that were released – Ethylhexyl Acrylate , Isobutylene and Ethylene Glycol Monobutyle Ether – resulting in an even greater risk of environmental contamination.

East Palestine Toxic Spill Health Hazards

Dangerous exposure to these chemicals may lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as shortness of breath, burning sensations in both skin and eyes, coughing fits, headaches or even nausea. The EPA has identified five distinct chemical compounds present within the derailed rail cars that have either been breached or are currently ablaze.

Responsible authorities have been carefully inspecting the ecological climate of East Palestine and its surrounding cities, with residents electing to voluntarily register for EPA home investigations. 

Dangerous exposure to these chemicals may lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as shortness of breath, burning sensations in both skin and eyes, coughing fits, headaches or even nausea.

As of February 13th, no traces of vinyl chloride or hydrogen chloride (hydrochloric acid), a chemical that is released by burning vinyl chloride, were found in 291 examined homes; 181 more households are still pending screenings. Officials confidently assured citizens that monitoring has demonstrated the region’s drinking water to be safe.

Officials have reassured the public that air and water quality in the area is not compromised; nonetheless, nearby residents continue to experience a range of health issues such as nausea, eye irritation, and burning sensations.

A resident of a town 10 miles north of East Palestine recently informed a regional TV news station that six chickens had passed away suddenly one day after the chemical release. Furthermore, another inhabitant in close proximity declared to have spotted deceased fish floating downstream in an adjacent creek. Experts are worried that the responsible agency is not evaluating other probable chemicals which could have been generated by combusting these hazardous materials.

Property Owners File Lawsuits for Loss of Business

The community is holding Norfolk Southern accountable and taking legal action to ensure that they are covering medical screenings for citizens residing within a thirty-mile radius of the derailment. Unquestionably, it was an egregious lack of care on behalf of the company — these people were exposed to hazardous materials and dangerous chemicals. 

The lawsuit demands that residents be compensated fairly for their distress while asserting that they should have never been placed in this position because adequate safety protocols weren’t followed.

The EPA sternly alerted Norfolk Southern that they must bear responsibility for the associated costs of the derailment, such as cleaning up and prevention activities.

Toxic Effects Go Beyond East Palestine

Despite the area passing safety inspections and officials deeming it suitable for residents to return, people are still worried about the possible long-term effects of the chemical spill on air, water and soil. Authorities are currently conducting further investigations into what might be permanent damage due to this accident.

Not only are the people of East Palestine being injured by the contamination, but its repercussions reach far beyond their borders. Toxic chemicals released into the air and water can spread to nearby towns and ecosystems, affecting not just humans but all living things: plants, animals, birds — even entire populations could be impacted.

This occurrence reinforces the need for secure transportation of hazardous materials. Although accidents can’t be avoided entirely, it’s vital to have preventive measures and regulations in place to lessen potential damage to both people and the planet.

Who Is Liable for the Ohio Train Derailment Spill?

The EPA and other local agencies are pursuing an inquiry to find out who is at fault in this incident. Investigators have visited the companies involved in shipping these chemicals, and anyone responsible for transporting hazardous materials may be held accountable if recklessness or negligence were a factor in the derailment.

The consequences of this incident on the environment and nearby towns have been considerable, implying that legal action should be taken to guarantee fair restitution for those affected.

The consequences of this incident on the environment and nearby towns have been considerable, implying that legal action should be taken to guarantee fair restitution for those affected. It is also essential that the responsible parties commit themselves to long-term restoration efforts so as to bring back the area’s original state.

Filing A Lawsuit for Personal Injury or Loss of Business

Residents and businesses affected by the chemical spill may be eligible to file a claim for personal injury or loss of business. Such claims are often handled on a case-by-case basis, so it is important that those affected consult with an experienced attorney in order to understand their rights and potential courses of action.

It is also important to note that claims must be filed within a certain period of time, so seeking legal advice as soon as possible is essential in order to ensure that any potential rights to compensation or damages are not waived.

The effects of the Ohio train derailment may have far-reaching consequences for local residents and businesses, and it is important that those affected are aware of the steps that they can take to ensure their rights are protected. 

A qualified attorney can help those affected by the derailment understand their legal options and determine a course of action in order to seek compensation for any damages sustained.

Are You Affected By The Train Derailment Accident in Ohio?

If yes, then you may be eligible for compensation and free medical care. 

Farahi Law Firm’s award-winning personal injury attorneys are experienced in representing individuals who have been injured or lost business as a result of negligence. We can provide you with the legal advice and guidance necessary to ensure your rights are protected and you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Our team is available 24/7, and we will provide you with personalized attention and a comprehensive legal strategy to ensure the best possible outcome. We are dedicated to helping you seek justice and secure the compensation you deserve. Is language a barrier? We also speak Spanish and Filipino.
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