Toxic Shipment Truck Overturns, Spilling Into Environment

Toxic Shipment Truck Overturns, Spilling Into Environment

( – Tons of contaminated soil from February’s Ohio train disaster has been dumped back into the environment after a truck overturned. The accident happened just four miles from where a train loaded with toxic chemicals derailed earlier this year. Officials say there’s no danger — but it’s only going to stoke residents’ fears.

On February 3, a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Its load included five tank cars full of toxic chemicals damaged in the crash. In an attempt to prevent chemical leaks, cleanup crews burned off their contents. Since then, local residents have complained of mysterious health issues and dead pets, which many are linking to the chemical contamination caused by the fire.

Since the accident, a huge decontamination operation has been underway. Part of that involves clearing tons of contaminated soil from the site. On April 10, 40,000 pounds of that soil was loaded into a tractor-trailer rig for transport to a processing plant — but, just four miles north of the derailment site, the truck lost control and ran off Route 165 into the ditch, hit a utility pole and overturned, spilling half its load onto the road and berm. Firefighters and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency were called out and closed the road, but later reopened it. The Ohio EPA says the spill was “contained” and didn’t affect water supplies. The truck’s 74-year-old driver has been cited for operating a vehicle without reasonable control.

Although the EPA insists contamination in the air and water around East Palestine is at safe levels, residents are reporting a range of symptoms; one local medic is calling the illness “chemical bronchitis,” drawing a clear link to the derailment. Despite government assurances, they fear they’re still being exposed to toxic chemicals. Having 10 tons of contaminated soil dumped on a local road isn’t going to make them feel any better.

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