One resident in Palestine, Ohio, was forced to relocate his family from the house on Monday, after suffering from headaches due to a foul odor that was sprayed over his neighborhood and the workplace for nearly two weeks following the derailment of a train that released harmful substances into the air.
A lot of questions remain unanswered since an entire train of 50 cars, with some carrying extremely poisonous vinyl chloride, slid off on its way to Pennsylvania in the evening of February. 3 because of an axle that was damaged. Authorities took the decision to extinguish the gas that was toxic to prevent the risk of an explosion. This sent hydrogen chloride and phosgene an extremely toxic chemical that was used as weapons during World War I, into the air.
The controlled release of harmful chemicals engulfed the town with massive black smoke plumes. Residents who were evacuated were informed they could return to their homes shortly thereafter, dead animals, and a growing number of people suffering from headaches and other spooky symptoms are causing locals to worry that the worst isn’t done.
“They haven’t actually told me anything that could be useful. Even when they did inform us that they had, we already given permission to leave, which means there were already people home Then they published a list of all the chemical substances that were inside the wreckage,” East Palestine resident Nathan Velez, told “Jesse Watters Primetime” Monday night.
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Velez who lives in and works at his own engine repair shop by his shop on the Ohio River, said he was suddenly struck with persistent headaches due to what he described as a sour scent in the air.
“I am here today, and we are now in my shop. It’s the first time that I’ve been here for one week. And I was here for 5 minutes and I’m having headaches right now that you are able to smell,” he told Fox News host Jesse Watters. “Anyone who is here and hasn’t been here before can smell it. The cameraman was able to smell it. It can cause headaches. You’ll probably get one.”
It is reported that the Environmental Protection Agency said that tests haven’t “detected any concerns in the local community that could be linked to the incident at the moment.” However, Velez, the father of a 9-year-old son and 1-and-a-half-year-old daughter, said his experience and that of so many others on the ground tell a very different story about the environmental impact.
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“My home is right over the track… And it’s smells. It’s impossible to spend a long period of time here and not feel as if you’re in a state of denial,” he said. “And what’s my concern is: why is it okay when it’s safe and everybody says that it’s safe. If it’s safe and okay, then why is it so bad?”
Velez relocated his family to his Airbnb home in Canfield while investigators wearing hazardous suits continue to study the damage to the environment near his home as well as the extent of exposure to humans.
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“We are in Airbnb located in Canfield …. Everything is a mess. It’s all chaos at the moment.” the man said.
As per Cancer.gov, Vinyl chloride, often used to create wire coating, pipes, and packing, has been linked with a higher risk of a rare variant of liver cancer called liver angiosarcoma. It is also associated with other primary cancers of the liver, lung and brain cancers, lymphoma and leukemia.
Senator. JD Vance, R-Ohio has stated earlier on Monday that he was “horrified” of the alarming stories he’s heard from local residents. He also urged anyone who has “credible stories of environmental harms” to get in touch with his office.
“This is an environmental catastrophe with consequences which are hard to evaluate in the near term,” Vance said. “Long-term studies are essential.”
Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this story.
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