Toxic chaos: What can we learn from the Ohio train derailment?

East Palestine’s train derailment has raised questions about safety culture in the US railroad industry.

Drone footage shows the freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, U.S., February 6, 2023
Drone footage shows the freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, US, February 6, 2023 [NTSBGov/Reuters]

A freight train derailed in the US state of Ohio on February 3, spilling toxic chemicals into the small town of East Palestine. Fire on the train sent a large, dark plume of smoke and chemicals into the air for days. Residents reported various health issues, and scientists have warned that one of the chemicals on the train, a known carcinogen, could have long-term impacts due to air, water, and soil contamination. Both federal regulators and railroad employees have said that derailments like this could have been avoided – so have railroad industries weakened safety regulations to prioritise profits?

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This episode was produced by Khaled Soltan and host Kevin Hirten, in for Malika Bilal. Miranda Lin fact-checked this episode.

Our lead of audience development and engagement is Aya Elmileik. Adam Abou-Gad is our engagement producer.

Alexandra Locke is The Take’s executive producer, and Ney Alvarez is Al Jazeera’s head of audio.

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Source: Al Jazeera