- US authorities have demanded that Norfolk Southern pay for the clean-up of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio or face penalties.
- Multiple lawsuits have been filed on behalf of residents, many of whom were forced to evacuate their homes.
- US President Joe Biden and former US President Donald Trump have both responded to the incident.
- Norfolk Southern has apologised and has already removed contaminated soil and water.
- The Ohio Health Department has opened a health clinic for concerned residents.
Train Derailment in East Palestine, Ohio
US authorities have demanded that Norfolk Southern, the company responsible for the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, pay for the clean-up or face tough penalties.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the firm must “pay for cleaning up the mess they created and for the trauma they’ve inflicted on this community”. If they fail to comply, the EPA said they would “immediately” carry out the work themselves, charge them triple the cost of the clean-up operations and fine the firm up to an additional $70,000 (Â£58,000) a day.
Lawsuits and Criminal Charges
Multiple lawsuits have been filed on behalf of residents, many of whom were forced to evacuate their homes.
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said his office had referred criminal charges against the rail firm to the state’s top prosecutor.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Norfolk Southern “needs to be made to pay” for any medical costs stemming from the derailment.
US President Joe Biden defended his administration’s response, saying they were “on the ground hours after the train derailed” to help.
East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway has said Mr Biden gave his town a “slap in the face” by travelling to Ukraine this week, rather than Ohio.
Former US President Donald Trump plans to visit the community on Wednesday.
US Transportation Security Pete Buttigieg acknowledged to the BBC’s US news partner CBS that he “could have spoken sooner about how strongly I felt about this incident, and that’s a lesson learned for me”.
Norfolk Southern has apologised for the incident and said it had already removed at least 15,000lbs (6,800kg) of contaminated soil and excavated 1.5m gallons of contaminated water.
The Ohio Health Department has also opened a health clinic for concerned residents.
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