As residents of East Palestine, Ohio continue to report on the harrowing results of a recent train derailment, investigators are making some rather troubling discoveries as they begin to piece together the full economic impact of the man-made disaster.
The most alarming news thus far has been the presence of a mass amount of vinyl chloride in the wreckage, and the decision to execute a “controlled burn” of the highly dangerous chemical. Local residents soon began to report all manner of trouble, including the sudden, strange deaths of pets, livestock, and fish in the local rivers.
Now, in a stunning development, officials have determined that vinyl chloride was not the only dangerous substance involved, sparking fears of an unforgivable coverup.
Other toxins like hydrogen chloride were emitted in large plumes of smoke during a controlled release and burn, prompting officials to issue mandatory evacuation orders in a one-mile radius of the crash site.
Another of the substances released was phosgene, a gas deployed as a chemical weapon across First World War battlefields.
A list of the cars involved in the derailment and the products they were carrying since released by Norfolk Southern reveals several more toxic chemicals than first made apparent following the crash, ABC News reports.
Among the substances were ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate and isobutylene also in the rail cars that were derailed, the NBC News list shows.
Just how bad could this be?
Contact with ethylhexyl acrylate, a carcinogen, can cause burning and irritation of the skin and eyes, and inhalation can irritate the nose and throat, causing shortness of breath and coughing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Concerned residents have been wary about returning home to East Palestine on account of the rather sizeable chasm between the EPA’s assurances and local reports of animal deaths.