Former President Donald Trump plans to visit community leaders of East Palestine, Ohio, the site of the train derailment that caused harmful chemicals to be discharged, promoting an evacuation.
The scheduled visit, set to happen sometime next week, comes nearly three weeks after nearly 50 cars carrying colorless chemical vinyl chloride derailed in the village along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border on February 3.
Residents were told to evacuate the area immediately, following an agreement reached by the Ohio government and the company operating the train — Norfolk Southern Railroad — to conduct a “controlled release” of the explosive toxin.
The release was an attempt to avoid the risk of uncontrollable shrapnel caused by an explosion.
Although residents were told it was safe to return to the area on February 9, many have reported adverse symptoms from airborne toxins and chemicals and toxins that seeped into surface and groundwater.
Yet, local authorities insist groundwater remains unaffected.
On Friday (February 17), the Biden administration announced it would be deploying personnel from the Health and Human Services Department to the town.
A day earlier, the Biden administration had denied Ohio’s Republican Governor Mike DeWine’s request for the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, reporting from ABC’s WSYX 6 revealed.
As the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts an investigation into the derailment, it recently revealed it identified the car that caused the derailment, which was likely caused by an overheated wheel bearing, according to video footage it was able to review.
In a statement, the NTSB revealed it had collected the wheel bearing and would be sending it to engineers in Washington, D.C., for examination.