BREAKING: Ohio Governor DeWine Gives Update About East Palestine Train Derailment, Reveals Decision to Burn Hazardous Chemicals

On Friday, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH), who has come under fire for not adequately handling the crisis in East Palestine following a train derailment on February 3rd, revealed the reasoning behind burning the multiple hazardous chemicals that have since contaminated the air and water of the region.

“I had a discussion with the representatives of the railroad, extended discussion,” the Ohio governor said. “I brought Pennsylvania Governor Shapiro in that, through my cell phone. And we went back and forth for a couple of hours trying to weigh the risk one versus another.”

“The risk of the car exploding was described to me as high, a high probability that it could explode,” he explained to the gathered press. “And when I pressed everyone to give me the information about, and also give Governor Shapiro the information because he was on the cell phone listening and asking questions, it came back that the concern was that it would be a catastrophic explosion of the car which would result in shrapnel going out close to a mile.”

“We also looked at what the danger was from a controlled release which is what the railroad felt should be done,” he continued. “Again Governor Shapiro and I spent considerable time, up to about two hours I recall, asking a lot of questions about how that would take place.”

“We had the benefit of the Ohio National Guard that had done a modeling exercise,” DeWine stated, adding, “They did that in conjunction with the U.S. Defense Department who gave them additional information to help in regard to the modeling. The modeling was then produced into a map, a map that I believe we showed everyone that day when we had our press conference.”

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“There was a red area that they described as the likelihood of death within that red area would be very high. There was an area outside that, the yellow area, where they also described that it would be very dangerous to be there but not quite as dangerous as it was within the red area,” the governor concluded, adding, “We then made the decision to go ahead with the second option which was the controlled release.”

The decision to conduct a slow burn of the chemicals has come under question from some including Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. On his show Thursday night, the Fox host questioned whether or not it was the right call:

“That was last week. In the subsequent days, a lot of people have wondered out loud, was it really a wise decision to light thousands of gallons of vinyl chloride on fire, releasing a World War I era bioweapon into the air over a populated area? Was that a good call? Was it really safe, two days later, for people to go back to their homes? If it was safe, how do we know that? Is anyone in charge actually monitoring with any accuracy the level of deadly chemicals in the air, ground, in the water, in and around East Palestine?”

The release of chemicals into the air and water of the local area has led to streams and creek beds having a metallic sheen over them when disturbed as shown in multiple viral videos now circulating social media.

Now that the public has more information as to who made the call to conduct a slow burn, residents now know who to hold accountable. Gov. DeWine and Gov. Shapiro should both be held responsible for their decision and while they were given two bad options, they should have at least been ready to deal with the problem head-on for the residents of East Palestine.

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