During an Emergency Sunday night press conference, officials shared an alarming announcement on the Friday night Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine with the press and the community.

The village's mayor Trent Conaway along with Fire Chief Keith Drabick said the village is now facing "catastrophic failure" of one of tanker cars and could lead to an explosion of one of the vinyl chloride train cars.

A mandatory evacuation of people within a one mile radius of the railroad must leave the area or will face charges, Drabick said.

If the tanker in question explodes, it will release toxic fumes of the vinyl chloride, a toxic chemical officials stated.  Vinyl chloride is known carcinogen.

EMA Peggy Clark told 21 News that conditions with the train car have worsened, and the risk of explosion could send shrapnel throughout the area.

In a news release from the governor, it stated that more than 500 people are still within the evacuation area in East Palestine,  previously declining to leave their homes.

With the new threat of a railroad car exploding, the who need help to leave are advised to call 330-426-4341. 

The village's Facebook page stated that due to developments within the derailment zone, emergency measures must be taken... the evacuation zone is one mile from 1020 E. Taggart Street in the village.




Anyone in the area can go to the shelters put in place by village officials at the Community Action Agency on Grant Street in the village and in the middle school/high school gyms for as long as the mandatory evacuation is in place.


Norfolk Southern released a fact sheet Sunday afternoon detailing the chemicals on the train while addressing residents concerns about the safety of their air and water.

The chemicals on the train consist of vinyl chloride, combustible liquids, butyl acrylate and benzene residue cars.

The train was also carrying nonhazardous materials such as wheat, plastic pellets, malt liquors and lube oil.
Norfolk Southern writes that the air and drinking water in East Palestine are safe. However, the evacuation and shelter in place orders will remain as a precaution.
The chemicals carried by the train have been detected in runoff and streams, such as Sulphur Run. It is unclear how much of each chemical is detectable in the water.
The East Palestine schools will be closed on Monday, February 6 due to the current state of emergency.

According to a post on the district's Facebook page, all extra curricular activities have also been cancelled at the district.

Federal, county, and state authorities continue investigating Friday night's multi-car derailment and fire of Norfolk and Southern Railroad tankers that have caused a major evacuation in the village.