Norfolk Southern has been rocked by a wave of class action lawsuits alleging East Palestine residents may already be undergoing DNA mutations due to the hazardous chemicals and demands for punitive damages and medical monitoring on the grounds that efforts by the rail company and local and state officials to burn off the hazardous chemicals made matters worse.
“We will not walk away, East Palestine,” said a letter that was issued by Norfolk Southern Railway CEO Alan Shaw on Thursday.
Nevertheless, Norfolk Southern officials skipped a meeting with concerned East Palestine, Ohio residents last night after a freight train carrying 150 cars—20 of which were carrying hazardous materials—derailed in the little town, causing a chemical disaster. The citizens were merely looking for answers.
The start for Norfolk Southern has not been good. There are more and more complaints that the controlled burning of the carcinogenic chemical vinyl chloride has had short-term health effects on locals. According to local media, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, residents as far afield as Pittsburgh are concerned about potential health effects.
And here is a model.
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In addition, exposure to vinyl chloride has long-term health effects, including an elevated chance of developing leukemia, lymphoma, brain cancer, lung cancer, and a rare form of liver cancer called hepatic angiosarcoma.
Below is the entirety of Shaw’s letter to the people of East Palestine.
According to the New York Daily News, Norfolk Southern hasn’t given all the details on what the train carriages were carrying over two weeks after the crash.
East Palestine resident Kathy Dyke posed the following questions to representatives of the government last night at the meeting:
“Why are they being hush-hush?”
“They’re not out here supporting, they’re not out here answering questions. For three days, we didn’t even know what was on the train.”
“I have three grandbabies,” she continued. “Are they going to grow up here in five years and have cancer? So those are all factors that play on my mind.”
Yet another woman inquired:
“If there’s nothing in the air and nothing in the water, why are people still getting sick?”
One man cried out:
“This whole town’s infected!”
The fumes are making even the reporters reporting the derailment ill.
Watch the video below:
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown requested in a letter to Governor Mike DeWine on Thursday that a disaster be declared in East Palestine.
“This is an unprecedented situation.
“Hundreds of families were forced to flee their homes and are now rightfully concerned about the potential long-term health risks associated with exposure to the toxic chemicals released” Brown said, adding DeWine should declare a disaster to “ensure that the community has all the resources they need.”
Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern has been rocked by a wave of legal action. The most recent claim demanded punitive damages and medical monitoring on the grounds that efforts by the rail company and local and state officials to burn off the hazardous chemicals made matters worse.
A recent article covered East Palestine, Ohio, and said that it had been affected by the derailment of a train carrying pressurized vinyl chloride, a highly flammable carcinogenic gas.
“I’m not sure Norfolk Southern could have come up with a worse plan to address this disaster.
“Residents exposed to vinyl chloride may already be undergoing DNA mutations that could linger for years or even decades before manifesting as terrible and deadly cancers. The lawsuit alleges that Norfolk Southern made it worse by essentially blasting the town with chemicals as they focused on restoring train service and protecting their shareholders,” attorney John Morgan said in a statement, who was cited by local media WFMJ.