The state of Ohio has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern over the February 3 derailment of a train carrying hazardous chemicals in East Palestine.
According to Xinhua, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a 58-count civil lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday attempting to hold Norfolk Southern financially liable for the event.
According to Yost’s office, the train crash released nearly 1 million gallons of dangerous chemicals, “recklessly threatening” both the health of nearby inhabitants and Ohio’s natural resources.
“The fallout from this highly preventable incident may continue for years to come,” Yost said in a statement.
“There’s still so much we don’t know about the long-term effects on our air, water, and soil.”
The claim, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, noted Norfolk Southern’s growing accident rate, which allegedly increased by 80% in the last decade.
According to the lawsuit, at least 20 Norfolk Southern derailments have featured chemical emissions since 2015.
The train crash at East Palestine, a town on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, involved 11 tank cars carrying hazardous goods.
Then, emergency workers “controlled vented” five tank vehicles holding vinyl chloride, releasing poisonous and potentially lethal fumes into the air.
Residents of East Palestine have been allowed to return home, but many are concerned about how the situation was handled and the health consequences of being exposed to toxic chemicals.
According to a health assessment study, the most prevalent symptoms reported by residents in the East Palestine area are headache, anxiety, coughing, weariness, and irritation, discomfort, and burning of the skin.
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw told lawmakers last week that he’s “truly sorry” for the derailment’s consequences, saying that the business “will clean the site safely, properly, and with hurry”.