Following the disastrous train derailment in the small American town of East Palestine and the myriad of issues springing up after the initial event, the state of Ohio has, at last, announced a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern, the rail company responsible for the catastrophe.
As Townhall reported, residents were left fearful and concerned after the derailment, with accounts of continuously poor air quality, animals and fish turning up dead, and health issues experienced by locals and responders alike.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) broke the news of the federal lawsuit in a press conference held Tuesday afternoon, reportedly stating that Ohio “shouldn’t have to bear the tremendous financial burden of Norfolk Southern’s glaring negligence.”
Yost appeared on Newsmax to discuss the lawsuit, assuring the hosts it “is designed to make sure [Norfolk Southern] is legally required to live up to those promises.”
"Our lawsuit is designed to make sure [Norfolk Southern] is legally required to live up to those promises."
Ohio AG Dave Yost [@DaveYostOH] explains his state's lawsuit against Norfolk Southern after the toxic train derailment in East Palestine.
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) March 15, 2023
As The Washington Post detailed, a train from Norfolk Southern was shipping dangerous chemicals such as vinyl chloride and butyl acrylate when it drove off track in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 3. Authorities reacted to the incident by mandating an evacuation and subsequently burning the chemicals into the surrounding area, allegedly in hopes of avoiding a “major explosion.” According to The Post, smoke clouds from the burn went at least as far as the neighboring state of Pennsylvania.
“The fallout from this highly preventable incident may continue for years to come, and there’s still so much we don’t know about the long-term effects on our air, water, and soil,” Yost said of the derailment.
A Norfolk Southern spokesman reportedly reacted to the lawsuit, stating the company is dedicated to cleaning up any damage and offering financial help to those affected by the crash.
“We are making progress every day cleaning the site safely and thoroughly, providing financial assistance to residents and businesses that have been affected, and investing to help East Palestine and the communities around it thrive,” claimed spokesman Connor Spielmaker.
The Post noted that federal and local officials told residents that their drinking water posed no danger immediately following the derailment. After that, they did an about-face, recommending they instead consume bottled water.
Pungent chemical smells were noticeable for quite a bit of time after authorities claimed the air quality was safe, reported The Post.