Truck hauling 40K pounds of contaminated soil from East Palestine train derailment overturns on highway
A tractor-trailer hauling 40,000 pounds of contaminated soil from the cleanup site of the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment overturned on a highway on Monday afternoon, officials said.
The truck was traveling north on State Route 165 in Columbiana County when it "went off of the right side of the roadway, struck a ditch and utility pole, and ultimately overturned," according to a statement from Ohio State Highway Patrol. The driver had minor injuries.
About half the toxic soil it was carrying spilled onto the roadway and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said the spill was "contained and not a threat to nearby waterways."
The highway patrol said the truck was a commercial tractor with an open-top trailer. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that crews completed removing the spilled soil and another layer of soil underneath out of an abundance of caution.
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According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, the driver, 74-year-old Phillip Falck of Pennsylvania, was cited for "operating a vehicle without reasonable control."
The crash comes more than two months after a Norfolk Southern-operated train carrying cancer-causing toxic chemicals derailed and caught fire, leading to evacuations of a rural Ohio town near the Pennsylvania border and environmental and health concerns.
The train derailed on Feb. 3 after crew members became aware of an overheated wheel bearing and tried to stop, the National Transportation Safety Board said. The railroad vented and burned vinyl chloride that was being carried in five of the train's cars to prevent an explosion.
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Nobody was injured in the train derailment, but East Palestine residents have complained about adverse health effects including headaches and rashes. CDC workers also reported becoming sick after working at the site.
Tens of thousands of fish and other animals died in the area weeks after the derailment, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said. The EPA ordered Norfolk Southern to clean the contaminated derailment site and remove waste.
As of April 10, about 11.4 million gallons of liquid wastewater and 19,900 tons of soil have been removed from East Palestine. Another 17,300 tons of soil are piled up and awaiting removal, according to the Ohio EPA .
Contributing: The Associated Press