'Leave Now': Hundreds of Residents Near Site of East Palestine, Ohio Train Derailment Ordered to Evacuate

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

News surrounding the strange (and getting ever-stranger) Chinese spy balloon incident has been omnipresent over the past few days — to the point of nearly boxing out other news, like that of the fiery train derailment that happened near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border Friday evening. Approximately 10 cars carrying hazardous material derailed. The derailment was caused by mechanical issues, according to an NTSB member.


While the wreck continues to smolder, officials, on Sunday evening, ordered anyone within a one-mile radius of the crash to evacuate.

Officials have begged residents to leave the area for days as fears about air and water quality have mounted. The threat escalated as an inferno burned for a third night Sunday, and those within a 1-mile radius of the crash site are urged to evacuate immediately.

“There is a high probability of a toxic gas release and/or explosion,” Columbiana County Sheriff Brian McLaughlin warned. “Please, for your own safety, remove your families from danger.”

A “drastic change” was detected Sunday related to the vinyl chloride, Fire Chief Keith Drabick said. Five of the derailed cars were carrying the substance, said the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the disaster.

Drabick added:

“We are at a risk now of a catastrophic failure of that (train) container. Measures are being taken to try and control that and prevent that from happening. This catastrophic failure, if it occurs, it will produce hydrogen chloride and phosgene gas into the atmosphere.

“We need you to leave now.”

Per the Columbiana Sheriff’s Department, arrests of those who ignore the evacuation order are possible.

Per CNN, the evacuation zone has now expanded into two states, citing an update from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine:


Armed with new modeling information, the governors of Ohio and Pennsylvania have ordered immediate evacuations for a 1-mile-by-2-mile area surrounding East Palestine, on the eastern edge of Ohio, DeWine said Monday.

Those still in the immediate area of the derailment in East Palestine could face “grave danger of death,” DeWine said. He said those in other nearby areas could face “severe injury … including skin burns and serious lung damage.”

Five of the derailed train cars are carrying vinyl chloride – a chemical that is currently unstable and could explode, hurling toxic fumes into the air and shooting deadly shrapnel as far as a mile away, officials said.

So on Monday afternoon, crews will try a “controlled release” of the hazardous chemical to try to avert a catastrophic explosion, DeWine said.

“We’ve decided that that controlled release will occur today at 3:30” p.m. ET, DeWine said Monday. “We are urging everyone in this area – actually, ordering them – to leave.”

As this is a developing story, RedState will continue to follow it and provide pertinent updates.



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