Residents in East Palestine, Ohio, are still reeling from the aftermath of a train derailment that took place on June 22. According to Ohio officials, the incident has resulted in the death of more than 43,700 animals, making it one of the largest train derailment-related animal death tolls in history.
The derailment occurred when a train carrying hazardous materials, including ethanol, derailed and caught fire. The fire burned for days, prompting evacuations of nearby residents, and the smoke and fumes from the fire have contaminated the local water supply.
While Ohio officials have stated that the water is now safe to drink, many of the residents remain skeptical and are concerned about the long-term effects of the contamination.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has since released a report, calling the derailment “100% preventable” and stating that the operators of the train had been warned of an overheated axle prior to the derailment.
Meanwhile, the environmental recovery process is still uncertain. While the fire has been extinguished, officials say that it could take months or even years for the environment to fully recover from the incident.
The derailment has raised questions about the safety of the train system in the United States, and the incident has sparked a nationwide debate about the need for improved safety measures.