Norfolk Southern Clean Up Crew Is Getting Sick In East Palestine

A U.S. union official alerted the Biden administration to health problems caused by the Norfolk Southern derailment in February, saying that some workers have become sick.

In a letter obtained by CNBC, union representative Jonathon Long said Wednesday that rail workers have fallen ill at the East Palestine, Ohio, crash site.

“Many other Employees reported that they continue to experience migraines and nausea, days after the derailment, and they all suspect that they were willingly exposed to these chemicals at the direction of NS [Norfolk Southern],” the letter reads.

Norfolk Southern Clean Up Crew Is Getting Sick In East Palestine
White House officials, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, are calling for higher fines for railroad safety violations following their visit to the Norfolk Southern crash site in East Palestine, Ohio. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

“This lack of concern for the Workers’ safety and well-being is, again, a basic tenet of NS’s cost-cutting business model,” the letter added.

On Feb. 3, a freight train derailed in East Palestine, releasing hazardous materials. Nearby residents were evacuated while workers burned the chemicals in an attempt to dispose of them.

The letter recalls one situation where a worker was ignored by his supervisor after asking to be taken off the site due to concerns for his safety. Other workers, who asked for appropriate personal protective equipment, reportedly received little to no response from Norfolk Southern officials.

Norfolk Southern Clean Up Crew Is Getting Sick In East Palestine 2
The Norfolk Southern train was traveling at a speed of 47 mph when it came off the tracks, according to the NTSB. (AP/Matt Freed)

The letter concluded by calling upon Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to “bring about necessary changes” to prevent any similar rail disasters from happening in the future.

The letter was sent the same day that the leaders of 12 railroad unions met with Buttigieg and Federal Railroad Administration administrator Amit Bose.

The vinyl chloride page on the CDC website has also recently undergone changes some days Before Ohio Train Derailment. An older version shows a FAQ page that was longer and more in-depth prior to the revisions.

If you’re interested in the topic, read more about it here.

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