Residents in the small village of East Palestine, Ohio were ordered to evacuate their homes on Sunday as fears of an explosion mounted due to an ongoing train derailment.
The incident began on Thursday when a train carrying 50 cars derailed, causing several of the cars to catch fire. The cars were carrying a highly flammable chemical, and firefighters were forced to step back due to the danger of the situation.
Since then, the fire has been burning for days, and officials are concerned that the situation could become even more hazardous. On Sunday, they ordered evacuations in the immediate area as a precautionary measure.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of the community and minimize the risk of an explosion,” said Governor Mike DeWine in a statement.
The cause of the derailment is still under investigation. In the meantime, officials have urged people to stay away from the area.
“At this time, we are not sure how long it will take for the fire to be extinguished,” said a spokesperson for the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office. “We urge people to follow the evacuation orders and avoid the area until it is safe to return.”
The situation is still ongoing, and it remains to be seen how long it will take to put out the fire and assess the damage. View the full coverage of the incident on USNN.