Ohio gets hit with chemical burns; Tragedy occurs in state

Bella Arist, Reporter

     Explosions. Chemicals. Danger. On Feb. 4, smoke rose from a cargo train that went off the tracks in East Palestine, Ohio. The train accident sparked a huge fire and resulted in sending out evacuation orders. There were chemical toxins exposed to the area. 

     Insider gave more insight into the accident. It was reported that near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, there were “no injuries or fatalities” after the train went off the tracks. The train was shipping cargo from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania. 

     A woman who lived in North Lima, about eleven miles away from the accident, reported to have “checked on her chicken coop three days after the crash.” She ended up finding her “five hens and rooster laying lifeless, with no sign of a predator entering their enclosure.” 

      While the domesticated animals suffer from the toxic exposure, “locals have reported seeing streams full of dead fish in recent days.” There was an official with the Ohio EPA who “confirmed toxic material had entered the waterways after the burn and killed fish but reiterated that drinking water is safe and air contaminant levels are not currently cause for concern.”

     The residents were told to drink from bottled water if they have access until it is official that the region is safe to drink from other water sources. The state Environment Protection Agency is “also monitoring air quality and indicated there is no reason for concern. But other Ohio residents aren’t fully convinced.” 

     On the train, there were highly flammable hazardous materials including, “vinyl chloride, used to create a polymer that forms a popular plastic. Worried that the materials could explode, sending deadly shrapnel flying up to a mile through the air, officials conducted a ‘controlled release’ of the chemicals and burnt them, sending a toxic cloud of a black smoke into the air.”

     Even though the animal deaths alarmed the residents, now there are more reports that human health issues are starting to appear. 

     Junior Kaitlyn Calland states that she is “not nervous it will spread to where we live, because Ohio is pretty far away, so there isn’t a reason to worry.” She explained that if that were to ever happen in Maryland she would, “buy a full bodysuit and breathing mask to keep me safe and go in my homemade bunker, then collect everything I need to stay alive until everything is over.”

     Along with Calland, junior Aidan Cordner says, “I feel very safe in Maryland because of how the governor runs things.” He also explains “I feel bad for them because they were probably very sad since the chemicals ruined their land and home. It destroyed everything and caused them to lose things they love, they are most likely going through a hard time.”