Controlled burn of toxic chemicals after train derailment forced thousands to evacuate

By Jen Krausz on
 February 16, 2023

A controlled burn of toxic chemicals released deadly fumes into the air after a train derailment in Eastern Ohio near the Pennslyvania border.

The chemicals were released into a contained area and burned because of a risk of a chemical explosion and of seepage into the groundwater if they were not burned.

The rail cars burned for 16 hours. Days later, officials in both states gave residents the all-clear to return home when air readings did not show the presence of the chemicals or possible byproducts created by the burn.

Residents that have returned to their homes are complaining of headaches and nausea as well as a foul odor, however.

There is also a concern that chemicals may have seeped into ground water, and residents are being told to drink bottled water for now.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been criticized for his lack of involvement in managing the incident.