A resident in East Palestine, Ohio, is asking Americans to “pray for us” following the February 3 train derailment that resulted in residents being ordered to evacuate their homes on both sides of the Ohio-Pennsylvania border as fears of hazardous chemicals and a possible explosion loomed.
“Pray for us,” the East Palestine resident told Breitbart News on Tuesday. “I know there’s a lot of people that are very, very scared. They’re very nervous about what they’re coming home to, the environment, the animals years from now, the environmental impact on just people, and things around town.”
“God is in control,” the resident added. “And I think so often we forget that, that he is in control. That he knew this before it even happened.”
The resident added that the train incident was “not a good way” to get the town of East Palestine “on the map.”
“[It’s] not a good way to get your name on the map in international coverage,” she said. “It’s just been very trying, especially for those downtown, and those that have been basically affected by this.”
“But just pray for our small town — not what we want to be known as — but just the chemicals and stuff and the effects of years to come,” she added. “But God’s got this. God’s in control. He’s a good God, and he will take care of us.”
On February 3, a train operated by Norfolk Southern was carrying chemicals — including vinyl chloride, a highly volatile colorless gas produced for commercial uses — when it derailed, spilling the chemicals. A fire was then sparked, which sent thick billowing smoke into the sky.
Additionally, about half of the town’s population was ordered to evacuate following the derailment of the train carrying toxic chemicals. They have since been told it is safe to return to East Palestine.
Cleanup crews also reportedly ignited five train cars to get rid of toxic, flammable chemicals in a controlled environment, which created a dark plume of smoke.
“We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open,” hazardous materials specialist Sil Caggiano told WKBN.
Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit has been launched, seeking to force Norfolk Southern to initiate health testing for residents in both states.