Hazmat Expert On Ohio Train Derailment Disaster: ‘We Nuked a Town With Chemicals So We Could Get a Railroad Open’

"We’re going to be looking at this thing 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the line and wondering, ‘Gee, cancer clusters could pop up, you know, well water could go bad,'" he says.

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A hazardous materials expert claimed that time and money took precedent over public health and safety of residents when authorities decided to order the controlled burning of dangerous chemicals from the derailed train in Ohio.

The 50-car Norfolk Southern train that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 3 prompted officials to evacuate the area and release and burn toxic gas from five of the cars, a decision that is prompting many living near the area to question their own safety.

“We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open,” hazmat expert Sil Caggiano told WKBN 27 on Sunday.

Given the known deadly toxins released from the burn, and despite reports that animals and fish started dying around the region after it started, the Ohio government assured East Palestine residents they could return to their homes just days later.

“I was surprised when they quickly told the people they can go back home, but then said if they feel like they want their homes tested they can have them tested. I would’ve far rather they did all the testing,” Caggiano said.

Residents have since reported headaches and dizziness despite environmental regulators claiming the air and water of the surrounding area is safe.

Caggiano also expressed his concern the toxic chemicals would leech into the water table and lead to a mass cancer event.

“There’s a lot of what ifs, and we’re going to be looking at this thing 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the line and wondering, ‘Gee, cancer clusters could pop up, you know, well water could go bad,’” Caggiano said, urging residents to get a health check from a doctor now so they can document potential effects from the chemicals down the line.

Notably, East Palestine is located just miles away from the Ohio River basin that feeds downstream along the borders of West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and even Illinois, raising fears the chemicals could become far more widespread.

New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D) warned the EPA “confirmed” vinyl chloride from the chemical burn has indeed leeched into the Ohio River basin, which could potentially affect tens of millions of people.

“Nearly 1 million pounds of vinyl chloride were on this train. Now, the EPA has confirmed it’s entered the Ohio River basin which is home to 25 million people. This is one of the deadliest environmental emergencies in decades and no one is talking about it,” Bowman tweeted Monday.

But East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway insisted Sunday that the town had a “closed water system” so the water is “100% safe.”

“It’s concerning to me, but the citizens also have to be aware. We have a closed water system. So the water system in the actual village of East Palestine is 100% safe,” the mayor said. “We’re getting the same numbers from two Thursdays ago before the accident it’s the same numbers. Our well field is way west of where the accident is and the creek where the water goes down.”

West Virginia American Water said Sunday it was raising its water treatment standards as a precaution.

“The health and safety of our customers is a priority, and there are currently no drinking water advisories in place for customers,” the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, numerous class action lawsuits have been filed against Norfolk Southern over fears the controlled burn has unleashed an ecological and health disaster.

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