Lawsuit seeks medical testing after toxic train derailment
EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — Residents who filed a federal lawsuit in the fiery derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals along the Ohio-Pennsylvania line are seeking to force Norfolk Southern to set up health monitoring for residents in both states.
The lawsuit filed Thursday by two Pennsylvania residents calls for the rail operator to pay for medical screenings and related care for anyone living within a 30-mile (48-kilometer) radius of the derailment to determine who was affected by toxic substances released after the derailment. The lawsuit also is seeking undetermined damages.
About 50 cars, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed Feb. 3 in the Ohio village of East Palestine. No one was injured in the derailment that investigators said was caused by a broken axle.
Three days after the accident, authorities decided to release and burn vinyl chloride inside five tanker cars, sending hydrogen chloride and the toxic gas phosgene into the air.
Environmental regulators have been monitoring the air and water in surrounding communities and have said that so far the air quality remains safe and drinking water supplies have not been affected.
But some residents have complained about headaches and feeling sick since the derailment.
Norfolk Southern declined to comment on the lawsuit.
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