A federal lawsuit has been launched in the wake of the fiery derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals along the Ohio-Pennsylvania line last week.
The action seeks to force Norfolk Southern to initiate health testing for residents in both states.
Undetermined damages are also being sought as well as a full insight into the nature of the chemicals released into the atmosphere and water table in the accident.
AP reports the lawsuit filed Thursday by two Pennsylvania residents calls for the rail operator to pay for medical screenings and related care for anyone living within a 30-mile radius of the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
About 50 cars, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed Feb. 3 in the village. No one was injured in the derailment investigators said was caused by a broken axle, as Breitbart News reported.
Watch below as a massive inferno and threat of a “catastrophic” explosion follow the initial 50-car derailment:
Eric Whiting/LOCAL NEWS X /TMX
While five of the cars contained vinyl chloride, another five also were transporting unspecified “hazardous materials.”
Three days after the accident, authorities decided to release and burn vinyl chloride inside five tanker cars, sending hydrogen chloride and the toxic gas phosgene into the air.
Environmental regulators have been monitoring the air and water in surrounding communities and have said that so far the air quality remains safe and drinking water supplies have not been affected.
The Ohio and federal environmental protection agencies, working with local teams, “established a series of containment measures to help limit environmental impact to local streams and rivers from water runoff from the site,” Ohio EPA spokesperson James Lee said in a statement last Wednesday designed to ease local fears of contamination.
Those measures include installing earthen dams “to capture contaminants that may leave the derailment site” and the installation of “high volume aeration stations to help remove contaminants from Sulfur Run” stream, Lee said.
But some residents have complained about headaches and feeling sick since the accident while others demand immediate action to make clear what is at stake.
We live 45 minutes from this horrific disaster & our local media has done a decent job covering it but there has been precious little information beyond the official statements from the rail way, which are just regurgitated by the government…
Not good. https://t.co/94scItsJOo
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) February 13, 2023
This chemical release in Ohio looks really bad, and the media is barely talking about it.
Where are all the climate activists at? pic.twitter.com/ZVI2xfBuKG
— Hodgetwins (@hodgetwins) February 13, 2023
Norfolk Southern declined to comment on the lawsuit.