(VitalNews.org) – More than 50 train cars derailed near the town of East Palestine, Ohio, on the evening of Friday, February 3. State and local officials evacuated residents and conducted a controlled burn of spilled chemical components in the days following the accident, but citizens and several conservative politicians remain concerned. On Saturday, February 18, more than two weeks after the accident, Republican Ohio Senator Michael Rulli spoke exclusively with host Matthew Boyle on “Breitbart News Saturday,” a SiriusXM offering, about the derailment, the federal response, and his concerns, pleading with residents not to drink the water.
Officials said as many as 11 of the derailed cars carried toxic chemicals, including vinyl chloride, and they monitored railcar temperatures and evacuated 1,500 residents from the area. On February 6, the incident command officials ordered the controlled release and burn of five tank cars of vinyl chloride to avoid a catastrophic explosion, sending a toxic plume of combustion products, including phosgene and hydrochloric acid, into the atmosphere.
Ohio Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Saturday that anyone living within ten miles of East Palestine should not drink or bathe in the water. https://t.co/dTiBx9SRbH
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 19, 2023
Governor Mike DeWine (R) gave the all-clear for residents to return to their homes on February 8. Residents have complained about the residual pungent odor, skin rashes, burning eyes, and runny noses. Yet, the EPA has indicated contaminant levels are too low to affect drinking water safety. In fact, the governor’s office issued an update on water safety on February 15, indicating the Ohio EPA found no contamination in five wells it tested.
Nonetheless, Rulli told Breitbart on Saturday, “Anyone within ten miles, I am begging you not to drink the water. I am begging you not to bathe in the water. It is not safe.” Rulli mentioned he had personally gone to the site more than five times since the accident happened because he lives only 16 miles from the derailment point. “Every time I leave there, I get a sore throat,” the Senator explained. “And I have a sore throat for the rest of the day.”
Rulli has asked for Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttgieg’s resignation, calling the derailment response “the last straw” in a Fox News interview. Additionally, the GOP Senator advised residents to maintain health and environmental data journals to document their experiences because he found public agencies’ statements about air and water safety “hard to believe.”
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