East Palestine Train Derailment Explained

An overview of the 2023 Ohio train derailment.
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On the evening of Friday, February 3, 2023, 38 of 149 cars of a Norfolk Southern Railway freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Five of the derailed cars were carrying vinyl chloride, a hazardous material that built up pressure in the resulting fires, eventually leading Norfolk Southern to vent and burn it in a bid to prevent an explosion. The ensuing fireball and cloud brought the normally unseen process of hazardous cargo transportation into a single chilling view, and the event became a lightning rod of controversy over rail industry regulations, federal involvement in chemical spills, and much more.

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