Officials: Evacuation order lifted after East Palestine train derailment, air deemed safe

EAST PALENSTINE — Officials announced Wednesday afternoon that East Palestine residents can now return safely home after a train derailment caused evacuations.

Hundreds of people were asked to leave their homes after a Norfolk Southern Railroad train carrying vinyl chloride derailed in East Palestine Friday night.

To prevent a possible explosion, the railroad conducted a controlled release of the chemicals, which resulted in toxic chemicals and potentially deadly fumes being released into the air Monday afternoon, according to a release.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: DeWine issues evacuation notice for East Palestine following train derailment

Air samples from the area of the wreckage and nearby neighborhoods have determined that the air quality is safe for the community to return to their homes, the release states.

Crews will continue to be monitoring the air quality in the area, and Norfolk Southern Railroad has hired a contractor to work with local law enforcement, the environment protection agency, and state officials.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Train derailment in eastern Ohio causes huge fire; residents evacuated

Free testing of water from private wells in the impacted area will also be offered by the railroad.

Those who do not feel comfortable returning home can request help with hotel expenses from the railroad, the release states.

Comments on this article