A Train Derailed And A Fire Broke Out, Making An Evacuation Necessary

The mayor of East Palestine has stated that the obligatory evacuation order for a portion of the East Palestine town remains in effect due to the enormous fire that was started by a railway derailment on Friday night and is currently burning.

Officials called for an immediate evacuation of all areas east of Market Street, between Highland and Jimtown Roads, at a press conference at 6:30 a.m. In the range of 1,500 to 2,000 people in the zone are impacted.

Everybody else in the area has been told to stay inside until the danger has passed.

The mayor reports that around 50 rail cars were destroyed in the fire, but thankfully no lives were lost.

Nobody was wounded, according to Mayor Conaway. The crew on the train, he assured us, was alright.

Officials have evacuated personnel while they try to determine which rail carriages are on fire.

Within a mile of the scene, all air traffic must stop.

There have been multiple explosions, and it’s possible that they will continue while the automobiles burn.

The public has been advised to leave the area by the authorities.

According to the mayor, there are currently 43 people taking refuge there.

“We have multiple hazmat teams on the scene,” said Mayor Trent Conaway. “Norfolk Southern’s here with its hazmat team, too, to determine the possible chemicals that were involved.”

“We are asking residents not to drive around. Fire trucks are flying up and down the road. They’re tanker trucks. They’re full of water. They leak,” said Conaway.

Conaway stated, “We don’t know 100% for sure” regarding the burning chemicals. Among the variety of cars on the train were a tanker car, a box car, and a car carrying automobiles.

Around 9 o’clock that evening, over 50 cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed on the east-west rails in East Palestine. Just outside of town, not far from the Pennsylvania border, the incident occurred. It was reported that the fire was contained yet it continues to burn.

The cause of the derailment is unclear.

Aerial footage captured during the height of the blaze shows flames extending for around half a mile along the rails. As far as 10 miles away, the smoke cloud was visible and picked up by weather radar with ease.

Crews from nearly every fire department in Columbiana and Mahoning Counties were among the 50 fire departments from three states who responded to help fight the blaze.

“The initial challenge was just not knowing what we were dealing with,” said Battalion Chief Brian Rutledge, who was part of the first crew on the scene. “I saw what he had and it was already lots of cars involved.”

Extremely low temperatures, between 5 and 10 degrees, posed a significant challenge to firefighters. According to Mayor Conaway, the hydrants were functioning OK, but the water-pumping vehicles were freezing up.

“We have a contract with the Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency,” said East Palestine Superintendent Chris Neifer, who was supervising the shelter. “We got the call about 10:00 that they were looking for an evacuation site. We got our people on board, got our buses out, and got the doors open so everyone had a safe, warm place to come.”

Teenagers Jacob Griffith and Cami Kridler, who had watched the basketball game, were on their way to Chippewa for food when they saw the blaze.

“We were driving past Leake’s gas station on Taggert Street and we just looked to our left and a giant explosion. probably at least 200 feet. And we’re like ‘Oh my God. What do we do?’”

“I was actually the one that dialed 911,” said Kridler. “We all saw the same thing. One of our friends said, ‘Hey something blew up.’”

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