Angry Ohio residents confront railroad over health fears

Residents who say they’re still suffering from illnesses nearly a month after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in Ohio confronted the railroad’s operator Thursday at a town forum, demanding to know whether they’d be relocated from homes they’re afraid to live in.

“It’s not safe here,” said one man, staring straight at representatives of Norfolk Southern. “I’m begging you, by the grace of God, please get our people out of here.”

While the railroad announced it was ready to begin moving more contaminated soil from underneath the tracks, buying homes and moving people out of East Palestine hasn’t been discussed, said Darrell Wilson, the railroad’s assistant vice president of government relations.

“Why?” someone shouted.

Few seemed to come away satisfied with answers they heard about air and water testing from state and federal officials — even after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it was ordering Norfolk Southern to begin testing for dioxins, toxic chemical compounds that can stay in the environment for long periods of time.

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