Home Breaking Chemical train derailment | Ohio sues railroad

Chemical train derailment | Ohio sues railroad


(Washington) The American state of Ohio on Tuesday began civil proceedings against the Norfolk Southern railway company after the derailment in early February of one of its trains containing chemicals, raising fears since of serious environmental consequences.

“Ohio should not have to bear the incredible financial burden [resulting] from Norfolk Southern’s gross negligence,” Dave Yost, attorney general for the northern US state, said in a statement.

The lawsuit seeks to “hold Norfolk Southern financially responsible” for the derailment that took place in East Palestine on February 3 that “irresponsibly endangered the health of area residents, and the natural resources of Ohio.” “, specifies the press release.

This derailment had caused a huge fire and some 2000 evacuations. Among other things, the train was carrying vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic and highly flammable chemical used in the manufacture of plastic.

The railway authorities then proceeded to “controlled” releases of this vinyl chloride to avoid a possible explosion, releasing toxic fumes.

Some residents have since reported experiencing various symptoms, including headaches and rashes, and said they feared they might end up with cancers in a few years.

Authorities last week announced a “special” investigation into Norfolk Southern’s “safety culture and practices” after several crashes.

“Norfolk Southern will clean the site in a safe, thorough and urgent manner,” its CEO promised Thursday before a Senate committee, recalling that the company had pledged to pay several million dollars for the region.

Referencing that promise, the Ohio Attorney General said in his Tuesday statement, “The Complaint will ensure Norfolk Southern keeps its word.”

Dave Yost is asking that the company be held liable for damages, including for lost tax revenue caused by the derailment, and that it reimburse Ohio for current and future expenses to “prevent future harm to the environment and public health” and to “restore natural resources”.