The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday in a preliminary report about the train derailment disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3 that there was an apparent overheat failure of a wheel bearing prior to the crash.
According to the report, “hot bearing detectors” noted that the temperatures reached more than 253 degrees Fahrenheit above normal prior to the derailment.
“After the train stopped, the crew observed fire and smoke and notified the Cleveland East dispatcher of a possible derailment,” the report reads. “With dispatcher authorization, the crew applied handbrakes to the two railcars at the head of the train, uncoupled the head-end locomotives, and moved the locomotives about 1 mile from the uncoupled railcars. Responders arrived at the derailment site and began response efforts.”
Security footage appeared to show that the train had been driving at 47 mph with a glowing axle for more than 20 miles when the train derailed.
Afterward, the company responded to the railroad derailment by burning the vinyl chloride and venting the smoke.
Residents of East Palestine have complained that there have been animals dying with no explanation, and some residents have said they have gotten sick. Residents have complained that they can smell chemicals in the air. Three thousand fish died following the derailment, reported Yahoo News.
Despite this, local officials, as well as agencies representing state and federal government, have said the water and air are safe.
Former President Donald Trump came to East Palestine Wednesday, delivering cases of bottled water to residents of the town of 4,000, according to Yahoo News.
Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, visited the town for the first time Thursday after he was criticized for not coming sooner.
“This morning I’m in East Palestine, Ohio, to see the site of the Norfolk Southern derailment, hear updates from investigators, and meet first responders,” Buttigieg said in a tweet.
I’m degreed in the Environmental Sciences /toxicology. Even OSHA knows that East Palestine is not safe, and everyone should have been evacuated. No citizen should be there, because of particulates and residue inside homes, buildings and the area…everyone is breathing this stuff. Toxins are cumulative assaults on the body, and long term adverse health effects are almost guaranteed by continuous exposure. Read the reports of citizens…it’s bad now. The future health of many looks bleak.
TX A&M Superfund Research has some reports. https://superfund.tamu.edu/