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Ohio Train Fire releases Deadly Dioxins

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On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern freight train hauling carcinogenic chemicals derailed in the small Ohio town of East Palestine. Three days later, officials decided to breach one of the overturned tanks and set fire to the contents. Plumes of dangerous gas then rose in a hellish cloud and saturated the atmosphere in what those officials called a “controlled release.”

There was nothing controlled about it. The main chemical mentioned in reports of the “release,” vinyl chloride, is used to make PVC. Exposure to vinyl chloride is known to cause certain cancers, but most reports have failed to mention that deadly dioxins were also released by the decision to burn the carcinogenic contents.

Dioxins from Burning

“Vinyl chloride is bad,” said Neil Donahue, a professor of chemistry at Pittsburg’s Carnegie Mellon University. “Dioxins are worse as carcinogens, and that comes from burning.”

Related: Train was on fire at least 40 minutes BEFORE derailing

A group of persistent environmental pollutants, dioxins have been a major environmental problem in the U.S. for decades; though they have been shielded from most public conversation by a mainstream media beholden to corporate advertising dollars.

Chemical engineering professor, Dr. Eric Beckman, told NewsNation that vinyl chloride is a suspected carcinogen. “Long-term exposure is associated with cancers, particularly of the liver,” he said. “Short-term exposures, if they’re high enough, (can) harm you and kill you.”

EPA Head visits Ohio, asks residents to trust the government says: “Vinyl chloride exposure is associated with an increased risk of a rare form of liver cancer (hepatic angiosarcoma), as well as primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), brain and lung cancers, lymphoma, and leukemia.”

The Gateway Pundit reported about additional chemicals that were disclosed as being a part of this derailment and the impact already seen in local wildlife. Thousands of fish and aquatic life are floating dead in local creeks and rivers that feed into the Ohio River, which eventually reaches the Mississippi River.

Controlled Release?

The “controlled release” in the East Palestine, Ohio disaster could turn out to be the biggest environmental catastrophe the U.S. has ever faced. Ten percent of the country’s entire population could find themselves, as well as their water, soils, pets, livestock, farmlands and surrounding wildlife, poisoned by fallout from the incendiary acts taken by the “emergency responders” in Palestine.

Contain and Control vs. Release

Rather than controlling or putting out the initially small fire, the responders in East Palestine were instructed to breach several railway tankers that contained lethal chemicals, then set those chemicals on fire. They simply dumped the chemicals into the soil, not even spreading out plastic or tarpaulin to contain them. They dug into the dirt and released the carcinogenic cocktail directly into the soil, and then into the air as they ignited the cancerous chemicals. That action made the problem exponentially worse via vast, uncontrollable dioxin contamination. The resultant conflagration has potentially poisoned the entire Ohio River Valley for decades to come.

Video shows Sparks or Flames 20 miles before Train derailed

A Chemical Spill Expert Weighs in on Ohio Rail Disaster

Don Loucks is a certified Texas emergency manager who is also certified in hazardous materials emergency preparedness and response. He has specific training on rail cars and the handling of these kinds of emergencies involving chemical spills. He also worked as a volunteer fireman for 15 years.

He told researcher Mike Adams today that in such a case the product has got to be contained somehow. There was evidently a fire somewhere, he said, and the responding crews were fearful of some of the chemicals exploding.

“Well, there’s a standard protocol for these kinds of things,” said Mr. Loucks. “But they didn’t have a quick response because East Palestine is way out in the country.”

‘Inside Job’: CDC Changed Toxicity Info on Vinyl Chloride Days Before Derailment

He said rail accident responses can be difficult. In this case, at least ten cars carrying really hazardous materials derailed. The incident commander has to make a decision.

“The philosophy they used here,” he said, “(from) the response we know, is, ‘Let’s just drain the vinyl chloride into a ditch and set it on fire, because we’re afraid the tank car will explode, and if that happens there will be shrapnel all over.’”

What’s Worse?

“So what’s worse, having a tank car explode and the shrapnel going all over, or polluting the entire Ohio river valley with horrible chemicals? Which is worse? Frankly, I’d rather take my chances on keeping the product contained until it can be cooled down. You have to take your time and pump it out into other transport vehicles in the area.”

How did officials not know the dangers of setting these chemicals on fire?

Did officials not know that burning the chemicals would release combustion products like phosgene and that some of the combustion products would mix with water vapors to form hydrochloric acid that would fall onto farms and local lakes and streams and people? Should they not have known that? Mr. Adams asked.

[Phosgene was used during World War I as a choking (pulmonary) agent. Among the chemicals used in the war, phosgene was responsible for the large majority of deaths.]

“They should have known it,” said Mr. Loucks, “(or) they used the wrong procedures. That has yet to be determined, but apparently the decision was made to drain at least one of the cars and set it on fire, and then all hell broke loose. I’m not sure if there was an explosion.”

Several news sources have reported that it was the fire that was set by the emergency workers that created that giant black cloud and mass of smoke that many millions have seen on their television screens or on the web.

East Palestine, Ohio’s “Controlled Burn” – Profanity Warning

Mr. Louck said he had never heard of doing what was done in (some might say, to) Ohio. He also trained in the first responder side, and recounted once responding to an overturned jet-fuel tanker in Texas (on Hwy 71). His crew cleared and cordoned off the area, then had to wait for the trucking company or TCQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to come and punch holes in the tank and clear it out.

“It’s not something you can do at the spur of the moment,” he said. “You have to get the scene secure and stabilized, and then you can determine the best way to make it safe and remove the product.”

A Limiting Factor? Not Second Guessing Incident Commander

“But there’s a limiting factor,” he said. “You don’t know how much water that city can supply to a fire. They may have run out of water completely. You don’t know that. I’m not second guessing the incident commander who made his decisions. We won’t know exactly until the reports are all made and investigated, we won’t know exactly. If he ran out of water, maybe he had to take a different course of action. The point is you have to use the resources you have on hand.”

However, it wasn’t until three days into a small fire that, “They basically nuked a town with chemicals, so they could get a railroad open,” said Sil Caggiano, a hazardous materials expert. In that three-day interim, thousands of truckloads of water could have been brought in to put out the fire if the town did not have direct access to the water it needed.

A Confederacy of Dunces, or Criminals?

Locals said the way responders handled the derailment beggars belief. They said that only one car was leaking, yet the officials used small explosives to blow holes in the other tankers that contained VC, so it could leak out and so they could set it on fire. They did this without making any effort to remove the less volatile but also highly toxic chemicals from the area first. It sounds too crazy to be true, but that’s what they did; and government officials and mainstream media are engaging in what amounts to a criminal coverup of the truth.

Canary Chickens

We don’t know the extent of the damage yet, but chickens may be the canaries in East Palestine’s coal mine.

Amanda Breshears lives in Lima, OH, ten miles north of the “controlled burn.” She told WKBN television that all her backyard chickens dropped dead. Her own security video shows her chickens were all alive and fine before the burn began in East Palestine.

“If it can do this to chickens in one night, imagine what it’s going to do to us in 20 years,” she said.

An East Palestine woman interviewed on Fox television told a reporter that while “government officials” are in town telling locals it’s safe to return, those officials are wearing Hazmat suits. (You can’t make this up.)

Train Fire

More than 3,500 fish have been found dead in local creeks and streams. A man who tends foxes reports one dead and several sick. Another video shows an indoor cat has died following the burn. Cows and horses are reportedly sick or dying. An East Palestine mother reports her asthmatic son projectile vomiting before they were able to evacuate their home, and he now has skin rashes — a common sign of systemic poisoning. Many people in East Palestine and downwind of the town have reported breathing problems and skin rashes.

“This will be a far-reaching environmental catastrophe, and I have no clue how to contain the chemicals release in the environment,” said Mr. Louck.

Many of the chemicals released, including dioxins from the burning, are very difficult to remove from the body, or from the water, land, or air.

Cancers listed from this type of exposure include:

  • angiocarcinoma (heart cancer)
  • liver cancer
  • brain cancer
  • leukemia
  • lymphoma
  • all kinds of skin irritation

NTSB will do a full investigation of the Ohio disaster, probably, eventually. The EPA has just announced, nearly two weeks after the huge fire was ignited and toxic clouds were released by responders, that it will send people to examine the area.

Did the Railroad, not Government, run the Response?

Mike Adams reported that many locals have said they believe Norfolk Southern pressured authorities to set fire to the tanker contents because it would be the fastest way to dispose of them and reopen the rail line. He asked Mr. Loucks whether a railroad would export losses to an ecological area in order to save on operating costs.

Mr. Loucks said he did not know of such a case. He estimated that it could have taken two weeks or more to reopen the line if they had first properly contained and safely disposed of the dangerous chemicals. That would be a lot of lost income for any railroad line.

Hotbox 20-30 minutes prior to derailment

Mr. Loucks surmised that a hotbox apparently caused the accident, triggered by a lack of lubrication to the axle bearings. In the old days when the hot box showed a problem, an engineer had to stop a train or have a derailment. The train wheels and axles are all one piece. They have to always be lubricated. A hot box is created if they lose lubrication, where the axle starts to spark and weld itself together to the cross bar.

Media in many places has reported that the train was on fire for 20 or 30 miles before derailing in East Palestine. Infrared heat sensors along rail lines are there to detect any hot boxes. One of them failed on the Norfolk Southern. Many already knew where the train cars were sparking and flaming, but the train crew in the engine didn’t know, because they couldn’t see it. This was a 150-car train, nearly a mile long. So the crew didn’t know the train was hot, and they weren’t warned because the track-site censor had failed.

Cabooses Cut for Costs

In the old days, Mr. Loucks explained, train crews could observe the train’s cars from a caboose. When a train took a long curve, they could check the cars for any problems. But most train companies cut that corner (punintended) years ago and stopped pulling cabooses. Norfolk Southern also cut several jobs in the last few years.

Very Large Region of the Country Affected

Planet Waves FM reports that this is not merely a local issue. This massive plume will spread far and wide. It is being blown by the prevailing winds across Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York State, toward some of the largest population centers in the northeastern U.S.

By land, water and air, the toxins can spread in many directions, and the contamination is so serious that even soil tracking will spread significant amounts, according to investigative journalist Eric Coppolino. Dioxin contamination has been known to make entire towns disappear.

The town of Times Beach, Missouri was virtually wiped off the map by dioxin contamination. The federal government ended up buying the whole town, leveling it, even removing the ruined-town’s zip code. The site is only a state park now, but people with any kind of memory  likely never visit it.

Media Intimidation and Censorship

When Ohio Governor Mike DeWine came to East Palestine and told people to drink bottled water, a reporter from News Nation was thrown on the ground, handcuffed and arrested for asking a question. The attorney general dropped the charges this week, but what are authorities trying to hide? Why do they need to intimidate and abuse journalists just for asking questions? Citizens’ videos have shown people being blocked from just trying to get to river banks to video the many dead fish.

Government Response

The state government’s response to the disaster confused citizens at best, and at worst likely put many directly in harm’s way. While citizens of East Palestine were alternately told to leave their homes and later told it was safe to return (though it likely was not; there homes had not been tested, as Mr. Loucks says they should have been), firefighters were being told to destroy all of their personal protective equipment (PPE), including their underwear. Dioxins are extremely difficult to remove from clothing, surfaces, soil, water, or human bodies.

Just ask the former residents of the former town of Times Beach, Missouri.


  • A Town Erased from the Earth by Dioxins
  • 2-Minute Ohio Railway Fire Fallout Video (profanity warning)
  • Thousands of Farms Downstream from Ohio Armageddon
  • Ohio Train was on fire at least 40 minutes before derailing
  • Dioxin-a-ticking-time-bomb-170,000-times-as-deadly-as-cyanide
  • Free Legal Consultation

by Matthews & Associates

‘Inside Job’: CDC Changed Toxicity Info on Vinyl Chloride Days Before Derailment

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