A train derailment at approximately 9 p.m. Friday night caused a massive fire and explosion in the village of East Palestine, Ohio.
According to reports, the train was carrying around 100 oil tanker cars when it derailed and crashed into a gas station.
Anyone within a 1-mile radius of the derailment site is under mandatory evacuation.
The train was shipping cargo, including hazardous materials, from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania.
A local high school provided shelter for residents as firefighters fought the enormous flames.
More than 50 fire departments and other agencies from three states responded to the East Palestine derailment.
There have been no reported injuries or fatalities.
Here’s footage of the massive blaze:
Train derailment has caused a massive fire and explosion in East Palestine, Ohio, which is NW of Pittsburgh
The train was carrying more than 100 oil tanker cars when it derailed and crashed into a gas station.Nearby neighborhoods are under mandatory evacuation. pic.twitter.com/ZVLjiwb8jJ
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) February 4, 2023
🚨#BREAKING: Train derailment sparks massive explosion⁰⁰📌#EastPalestine | #Ohio
Currently, multiple emergency crews are responding to reports of a major fire caused by a tanker train derailment leading to multiple explosions. All residents nearby are now being evacuated pic.twitter.com/LUWqegoQnn
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 4, 2023
#BREAKING: A massive fire continues to burn out of control in East Palestine, Ohio near the Beaver County border after a train derailment. A 1-square mile zone around the derailment has been evacuated. @KDKA #SjyEye2 https://t.co/y8ZM8o5FQ7 pic.twitter.com/fpISlS2wwm
— Ian Smith (@ismithKDKA) February 4, 2023
Here’s a closer view of the #trainderailment fire through my photographer’s lens #EastPalestine #Ohio @KDKA pic.twitter.com/0zGFoH04A9
— Lauren Linder (@lauren_linder) February 4, 2023
East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway declared a state of emergency:
The mayor of East Palestine has declared a State of Emergency after a train derailment caused a massive fire t Friday nighthat is still burning into Saturday morning. https://t.co/PdB5S6ftYp
— fox8news (@fox8news) February 4, 2023
“The NTSB is launching a go-team to investigate the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern freight train derailment near East Palestine, Ohio. Member Michael Graham will serve as spokesperson on scene. Team is expected to arrive today,” the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) tweeted Saturday morning.
The NTSB is launching a go-team to investigate the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern freight train derailment near East Palestine, Ohio. Member Michael Graham will serve as spokesperson on scene. Team is expected to arrive today.
— NTSB Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) February 4, 2023
CBS News reported:
The call came into dispatchers around 9 p.m. for a Norfolk Southern train that derailed by the North Pleasant Railroad Crossing. Conaway said it happened near a Marathon Fuel gas station, and right behind a home heating oil supplier. The gas station got all of their semis of fuel out just in time.
East Palestine quickly requested assistance from police and fire agencies in the surrounding municipalities.
About 30-to-40 officers went down street-by-street to block off traffic and tried to evacuate a one-mile radius from the site. Conaway said about 1,200 people live within that area, but it’s unclear how many left their homes.
“It was a precaution. They have certain guidelines and the preliminary manifest from the railroad suggested that we can either evacuate or shelter in place. We decided to play it safe and give the people the option to evacuate,” Conaway said.
The village set up shelters at East Palestine High School and New Waterford Community Center. School bus drivers helped shuttle evacuees.
ABC News spoke with local residents and officials early Saturday morning:
Janet Meek, a 55-year-old resident in the evacuation zone, said she decided not to evacuate due to concerns about her pets, though she reported feeling the impacts of the blaze when she went outside.
“It’s like burning our eyes, and it was burning our throats,” she said. “We don’t … didn’t feel real good.”
Fire chief Keith Drabick said at the press conference Saturday morning that the train was carrying hazardous substances but could not confirm if the fire impacted the train cars carrying the hazardous goods. Drabick said the odor permeating East Palestine is not harmful at current levels, but representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency are monitoring the situation.
Firefighters had to withdraw from the blaze Friday night due to concerns about air quality and explosions, and they wanted to get a “better grasp of what exactly is what chemical is burning.”
There were reportedly multiple explosions throughout the night.
The fire is said to still be burning but under control.
There’s no indication of how the train derailed.
There is a no-fly zone within a one-mile radius of the scene. Officials are also asking the public to avoid the area.
“We have multiple HAZMAT teams on the scene,” said Mayor Conaway. “Norfolk Southern’s here with its HAZMAT team, too, to determine the possible chemicals that were involved.”
“We are asking residents not to drive around. Fire trucks are flying up and down the road. They’re tanker trucks. They’re full of water. They leak,” said Conaway.
The mayor says 43 residents are currently in the shelter.
As far as what chemicals are burning, Conaway said, “We don’t know 100% for sure.” The train comprises tanker cars, box cars and a car hauling automobiles.
Drone video at the peak of the fire shows the flames stretching for around a half mile along the tracks. The plume of smoke could be seen 10 miles away and was easily picked up on weather radar.
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