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East Palestine Ohio - Train Derailment

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

WASHINGTON — Residents of East Palestine, Ohio are still dealing with the impacts of a massive chemical burn from a train derailment that happened in their town last week.

The train carrying the chemicals was owned by Norfolk Southern which has been facing fierce backlash from town’s folk who want to know what happened that led to the derailment. Last week government officials assured residents that air is safe to breathe and water safe to drink in East Palestine.

Still, many residents are reporting itchy eyes, coughing, headaches, and other ailments that they are attributing to the derailment.

“My heart goes out to the residents of East Palestine and Ohioans who are wrestling with this issue,” said Indiana Congressman Andre Carson (D) on MSNBC. “Indiana is right next door to Ohio and we’ve been getting calls about the impacts from this on Hoosiers as well.”

So far any impacts on Indiana from the derailment have not been made clear.

Carson, who sits on the House Transportation committee, said he is pleased with the response by the White House to the train derailment.

“I think that the Biden-Harris administration has effectively mobilized a very robust, multi-agency effort to support the folks in East Palestine, including support from the EPA,” Carson said.

The sticking point between the White House and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has been federal help from FEMA. Initially, such help was denied by President Biden, says DeWine. However, since then it’s been confirmed that FEMA officials are on the ground in East Palestine assessing what federal aid may be necessary.

Carson places some questions on what happened with railroad regulations that were rolled back under the Trump administration.

“We have to hold elected officials accountable after we elect them and re-elect them to make sure that they are doing a proper job of being trustees over taxpayer interests,” Carson said. “We also have to work with the rail companies as well to make sure that they’re raising their standards.”