... train that derailed in Ohio was photographed on fire, 40 minutes and 57 minutes, before it derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, either the wheels or the brakes were locked, workers observed the heat alert, but did not stop the train, as is the rule
the residents of East Palestine voted overwhelmingly for Trump, who cared little for their safety, perhaps the Confederate flags and Trump signs that dot every corner of that community, will protect them, more than the Obama-era rule that made it a requirement for trains carrying hazardous flammable materials to have ECP brakes, a rule rescinded in 2017 by the Trump administration
The East Palestine, Ohio, Chemical Train Derailment
... the same 150-car train that derailed in Ohio causing a fire and the spillage of toxic chemicals suffered another mechanical failure a few days before the pile-up in East Palestine
The derailment of 50 of a 150-car-long train carrying hazardous material through the city of East Palestine, Ohio, was made more severe because the Trump administration repealed a key train safety rule.
The 50 derailed train cars contained the chemical vinyl chloride, an explosive colourless gas, as well as, the chemicals butyl acrylate, ethyl-hexyl acrylate, ethylene glycol mono-butyl ether, isobutylene, and an amount of benzene, a known carcinogen, yet to be determined.
On the 3rd of February 2023, at 8:55 pm Eastern Standard Time, a Norfolk Southern Railway freight train travelling west, derailed and caught fire shortly after crossing into Ohio across its state border with Pennsylvania.
While the extent of injuries caused by the sudden release of such toxic chemicals into the air so near inhabited residences have not been reported in detail to date, as a precaution against continued exposure, some 5,000 residents were evacuated from the immediate vicinity of the derailment on the orders of both the Ohio and Pennsylvania governors. To lessen the risk that some of the chemical-laden train cars might explode, on the 6th of February three full days after the derailment, by protocol, rescue workers blew vent, that is, pressure releasing holes into the walls of five of the railway tanker cars, to conduct controlled burning of the vinyl chloride, which not surprisingly, released massive amounts of toxic chemicals into the air.
Safety legislation rescinded by the Trump administration could have made the accident less severe, according to Steven Ditmeyer, a former official at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Ditmeyer stated that the "severity" of the accident was likely increased by the lack of Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes. A safety rule passed under President Barack Obama that made it a requirement for trains carrying hazardous flammable materials to have ECP brakes, and was rescinded in 2017 by the Trump administration.
The rail industry bosses complained to Trump that the safety rule, the addition of ECP brakes on cars carrying hazardous materials, would cost the rail industry more than $3 billion to implement. While, experts within the FRA and academics who study the rail industry reported that it would cost no more than one-half a billion dollars to equip the hazardous chemical tanker cars with the superior braking technology.
The National Transportation Safety Board, one of the federal agencies responsible for investigating rail accidents, has reported that derailed rail tanker cars were not fitted with ECP brakes.
Why Trump joined with the rail industry's opposition to fitting ECP brakes, is now the subject of intense scrutiny?
Naturally, attention is now also drawn to the rail regulators working in the Department of Transportation (DOT), under Secretary Pete Buttigieg, in order to ascertain as to whether or not the DOT will propose reinstating the safety rule, while or after they continue to evaluate ECP brakes to improve safety.
Secretary Buttigieg, states that the The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Rail Administration and Pipelines and Hazardous Materials teams were onsite within hours of the initial incident and continue to be actively engaged.
Based on the outcome of the investigations, decisions will be made to ensure accountability and continue to support safety, and Buttigieg added, that the federal Environmental Protection Agency would remain on site, where they will continue to monitor indoor and outdoor air quality resulting from the dramatic and sudden release of toxic chemicals into the surroundings, due to the toxic chemical laden derailment.
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... facts, about the current health concerns in the northeast Ohio derailment toxic spill area
radius of toxic spill affected area around East Palestine is several miles wide
the local water supply of some 5 million Ohio residents is at risk of contamination
residents in the spill area have complained of eye irritation and breathing difficulties
and a large, but yet to be determined number of fish have been reported dead in nearby streams several domesticated animals have died inexplicably in the spill affected area