DERAILED: Disaster in East Palestine

Derailed: East Palestine, 1 year later

Scripps News visits East Palestine one year after a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals derailed.

Scripps News
SMS

Feb. 3, 2023 lives in the hearts and minds of the people of East Palestine. A Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals derailed near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, causing a massive fire. 

Days after the derailment, officials decided to vent and burn vinyl chloride from the wreck to avoid a potentially catastrophic explosion. The National Guard blocked roads to the area and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine urged residents to leave.

The mandatory evacuation was lifted after only three days. The governor's office said air quality samples showed safe readings, and Norfolk Southern started running trains again.

A year after fiery train derailment, Biden to visit East Palestine
A year after fiery train derailment, Biden to visit East Palestine

A year after fiery train derailment, Biden to visit East Palestine

The president will make his first visit to the Ohio city as long-term environmental concerns linger from last year's derailment.

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But residents were scared to breathe the air and drink the water. Families demanded independent testing on wells and relied on bottled water. Businesses struggled to stay afloat.

Scripps News visits East Palestine a year after the derailment to see what life is like now, and to share the lesson the community can teach all of America.