The cargo train derailment in the midwestern United States sparked a massive fire and triggered the release of toxic fumes, including from vinyl chloride, a colorless gas deemed carcinogenic by the US National Cancer Institute.
The Norfolk Southern train with 150 cars was shipping cargo from Madison, Illinois to Conway, Pennsylvania when it derailed on February 3.
The accident resulted in the derailment of 38 cars, after which “a fire ensued which damaged an additional 12 cars,” the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement Tuesday.
Just after the derailment, 1,500 to 2,000 residents of East Palestine were told to evacuate. Schools were closed for the week, along with some roads.