At a Thursday town hall at East Palestine High School auditorium, tensions flared between East Palestine residents, Ohio and a railroad official.
The New York Times reported that angry residents tried to reach Darrell Wilson, a representative of Norfolk Southern, which owns the train. Wilson arrived at the meeting to answer questions. Residents shouted and heckled at Wilson, demanding that he clean up the toxic spillage and evacuate them from the scene of the derailment on February 3.
Wilson said to the residents, “We are sorry.” We are very sorry for the events that occurred. It’s a terrible thing.
One yelled, “Evacuate us!”
Another shouted, “Get my grandchildren out!” “If you really care about us, let our grandkids go!”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced that it had given instructions to Norfolk Southern to test for toxic pollutants and dioxins. It also ordered the company to pay all cleanup costs associated with the spillage. Residents vented their frustration at the EPA officials who were present at this meeting.
One man at the event asked Debra Shore, an EPA representative, “Why did it take so long?”
Wilson promised to clean up the site of the derailment and remove all contamination. In response to Wilson’s promise, one resident shouted, “No, you are not!”