The consequences of a monstrous man-made disaster in Ohio have yet to be assessed
Ohio is a typical American outback, in which it rarely happens. In the media, this state is most often mentioned only in connection with a kind of record: eight of the 46 US presidents are from Ohio.
But in recent days, the US press releases begin with reports from Ohio, which has already begun to be called the “Second Chernobyl”, since the largest spill of toxic substances in recent history has occurred.
February 3 changed the lives of more than 5,000 residents of the town of East Palestine, located in Ohio. Late in the afternoon, a train carrying chemicals derailed there. More than two dozen tanks caught fire. But the arriving firefighters didn’t even try to put them out: the black smoke mushrooming over the city was too toxic.
In total, there were a hundred and a half cars on the train, and the state of those that did not catch fire is still unknown; a few days later they were towed to an unknown destination.
The transport company notified authorities that “vinyl chloride, ethylhexyl acrylate, butyl acrylate and other chemicals” leaked from some tanks, which are extremely dangerous to human health, but only a day later people were asked that they evacuate
A few days later they were allowed to return home, but there is still a strong chemical smell in and around the city.
February 3 changed the lives of more than 5,000 residents of the town of East Palestine, located in Ohio. Late in the afternoon, a train carrying chemicals derailed there.
Combustion of vinyl chloride is known to produce phosgene, which is one of the most common types of chemical weapons. And the entry of vinyl chloride into drinking water can cause several types of cancer at once, mainly affecting the brain and liver.
The authorities still report almost no information about the event, and the first press conference on the incredible scale of the environmental disaster was called just 11 days later. It confirmed that the chemicals entered the soil and waterways, and airborne particles were found. Drinking water is brought to Eastern Palestine, dead fish are collected from the surface of local reservoirs. Work has begun on the removal of contaminated soil from the accident site, its top layer is simply cut with bulldozers.
Scientists admit that the scale of the disaster can be compared with Chernobyl. But the state authorities are convincing the public that nothing particularly terrible has happened and that the situation is completely under their control.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has vowed to set up a mobile clinic in eastern Palestine where frightened residents can get necessary tests. At the same time, he assures that the first controls showed that there are no toxins in the bodies of the residents.
But people complain of sore throats, skin irritation, nasal congestion. Their houses and cars are still covered in stinking soot, pets, cats and dogs, suddenly began to die in the city; farmers complain about the loss of livestock. However, no decontamination work is planned in East Palestine.
From the Ohio River, which flows near eastern Palestine, dozens of cities in several states take drinking water downstream. It is reported that water intake stations are ordered to urgently seek alternative sources.
The director of the Ohio Department of Health has come under fire, saying that regular testing of air and water samples in the state is “showing promising results” because he refuses to disclose sample values. And according to some reports, the results of it are still extremely dangerous for people’s lives.
More than two dozen tanks caught fire. But the arriving firefighters didn’t even try to put them out: the black smoke mushrooming over the city was too toxic.
US President Joe Biden did not make official statements about the disaster in Ohio and refrained from traveling to this state, preferring to go to kyiv and Warsaw, located on another continent. But his possible competitor in the upcoming elections, former White House chief Donald Trump, announced that he would definitely come to East Palestine this week.
There have been at least a dozen chemical-related incidents in the United States this year alone, including two more rail accidents that damaged tanks full of highly toxic chemicals.
And in long-suffering Ohio, on top of everything, on February 20 there was an explosion at a metallurgical plant located in Cleveland. One person died. So far, there is no information yet – what caused the tragedy. It is only known that more than two dozen people were taken to hospitals with severe burns, including from contact with molten metal. The company that owns the plant called the losses “very, very significant.”
The owner of a neighboring business said that immediately after the explosion he went out into the street, which “was dammed up with smoking stones and molten metal.”
But that’s not all of Ohio’s misadventures: An uncontrollable measles outbreak continues in the state. Doctors urge parents to vaccinate their children against this dangerous disease, but so far their calls remain unanswered. The first cases were identified in December last year, and even after almost three months, the outbreak could not be extinguished: doctors are identifying more and more sick children.