Residents living near Ohio’s derailment site are worried about their chances of returning home.

Residents of the East Palestine, Ohio, area near the Pennsylvania border are hesitant to return home following the release of toxic chemicals from a freight train crash site.

Brittany Dailey stood in front of her hotel, watching as black smoke filled the sky 10 miles west. Crews were burning toxic chemicals from tanker car derailments just down the street.

Monday night, the faint stench of chlorine permeated the air as she wondered if she would want to go home. She didn’t know if it was safe for her son (8 years old) and Saint Bernard (11 year old).

She said, “I’m afraid to go home.” “I know I will eventually have to return, but it makes my heart want to sell my home and move.”


Authorities said Tuesday that although air monitoring has not yet detected dangerous levels of fumes near the Ohio and Pennsylvania derailment sites, residents who live close to the wreckage are still being denied entry.

Although the chemical fire was out of control, authorities stated that they wanted to make sure the air is safe before they lifted the evacuation order from Pennsylvania and Ohio. They warned that fumes could cause serious injury or death to anyone living nearby.

Keith Drabik, East Palestine Fire Chief, stated that “I want nothing more” than to see his residents return home. Safety is paramount

James Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated that a network of monitors from air stations inside and outside of the evacuation zone were collecting samples. Their readings did not find anything to worry about. He stated, “We want that to not change.”

He said that authorities were still working on a plan to let them know when residents can return home.

Residents living close to the Ohio train derailment site that led to the controlled release toxic chemicals fear returning home.

Major General John Harris Jr. stated that National Guard personnel wearing protective gear would be deployed inside homes, basements, and businesses to conduct readings.

Residents were left to flee after 50 cars, 10 of them carrying hazardous materials, crashed into a fiery crash on Friday night at the East Palestine.

“I don’t believe everything is fine. “They’ve been saying that everything is fine the entire time,” Dailey said. He also manages a daycare in the village.

After she is allowed to go back, she plans to buy air purifiers and deep clean her home and office. She said, “In my heart I cannot allow children to come back into that center before I can clean.”

Although no injuries have been reported due to the controlled release or derailment, some have complained of headaches and smelling smoke and chlorine in the air.

Many, if not all, of the residents living in the danger zone fled well before officials determined that the best way to prevent an even more dangerous explosion was to burn and release the vinyl chloride from five derailed tanker cars.

Officials warned that the controlled burn could release phosgene as well as hydrogen chloride into our atmosphere. Phosgene, a toxic gas that can cause nausea and breathing problems, was used in World War I as a weapon.


Seanna Shipley, a resident of the evacuation zone, fled to a hotel with her boyfriend, their dogs, and a few clothes Sunday night. She said that she hopes her home will be tested before she returns.

She said, “Honestly, I don’t know what to do with the air inside.” “I am definitely nervous about going home, but it is what I must do. They’ll stop paying people if it’s safe to return home. I will have to return home once they do.

As a precaution, those living in the evacuation zone of East Palestine or in nearby Beaver County, Pennsylvania were asked to remain indoors. Officials from neighboring counties stated that air samples didn’t show any worrying levels of contaminants.

The derailment site is close to Pennsylvania’s state line. Therefore, the evacuation zone extended into an area that is sparsely populated. Nearly half of East Palestine’s 4,800 inhabitants were warned to evacuate over the weekend, before officials decided to use controlled release Monday.

After a “dramatic temperature change” in one rail car was detected, authorities ordered evacuations to be started Sunday night.


Federal investigators believe the cause of the derailment was a mechanical problem with a rail car axle.

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