State Watch

Ohio governor warns of explosion risk, orders evacuations near train derailment site

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Monday warned a rail car could explode after a 150-car train derailed in the state, and ordered the immediate evacuation of residents living within a mile of the crash site.

“Within the last two hours, a drastic temperature change has taken place in a rail car, and there is now the potential of a catastrophic tanker failure which could cause an explosion with the potential of deadly shrapnel traveling up to a mile,” reads an evacuation notice shared by the governor.

Several dozen cars were derailed as the train passed through East Palestine between Illinois and Pennsylvania, causing fires at the site of the pileup. The derailment reportedly occurred due to a mechanical failure.

Several of the rail cars were noted to be carrying hazardous materials. It’s not yet clear what the at-risk car was carrying — East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway said authorities were working to determine “the possible chemicals that were involved.”

As teams worked to prevent an explosion, residents within a mile of the train were urged to immediately evacuate. 

The Columbiana County Sheriff said Ohioans who remain in their homes could be arrested if they have children. Officials report that more than 500 people have declined to leave their homes.  

DeWine has activated the Ohio National Guard to help local authorities deal with the derailment and the possible blast.

Tags derailment East Palestine explosion hazardous material Mike DeWine Ohio rail car train

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