Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro says his team has been monitoring the situation after a train derailed in Ohio that involves potentially dangerous chemicals that may impact some residents in western Pennsylvania.
Norfolk Southern is planning a “controlled release “of toxic material at approximately 3:30 p.m. Officials have feard a potentially dangerous explosion with shrapnel.
Governor Shapiro said he is “strongly” encouraging residents in western Pennsylvania who are within a one-mile-by-two-mile zone of the train derailment. The zone impacts 22 Pennsylvania residents, many of whom have evacuated.
“Let me be very very clear,” said Shapiro. “If you are in this red zone that is on the map, and you refuse to evacuate, you are risking death.”
The Governor said those in the orange area risk permanent lung damage within a matter of hours or days.
Others in the area are being asked to shelter in place and be prepared to evacuate if necessary depending on weather conditions.
Shapiro says at this point his administration has not seen any water or air contaminants impacting Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania EPA is working with Ohio and federal partners to monitor quality conditions in the region.
Anyone who believes they need assistance can contact Pennsylvania State Police or Beaver County Emergency Services.
Officials monitoring the smoldering, tangled wreckage of a train derailment in northeastern Ohio urgently warned hundreds of nearby residents who had declined to evacuate to do so Sunday night, saying a rail car was at risk of a potential explosion that could launch deadly shrapnel as far as a mile.
They warned of “the potential of a catastrophic tanker failure” after a “drastic temperature change” was observed in that rail car, according to a statement from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s office that said teams were working to prevent an explosion at the scene in East Palestine. It did not specify what was in that car or whether it was among those that had been carrying hazardous materials.
Authorities urged anyone within a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) radius of the site to leave immediately. Many had, but local officials indicated more than 500 residents had declined to evacuate, the statement said.
Federal investigators had announced earlier Sunday that a mechanical issue with a rail car axle caused the fiery derailment near the Pennsylvania state line Friday night.
About 50 cars derailed in East Palestine as a train was carrying a variety of products from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania, rail operator Norfolk Southern said. No injuries to crew, residents or first responders were reported.