Ohio train derailment led to death of over than 43,000 aquatic animals

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, holds the flag of a military unit as an officer kisses it, during a commemorative event on the occasion of the one year anniversary of the Russia Ukraine war in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2023. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

About 50 cars on a Norfolk Southern Railroad train, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed in East Palestine, Ohio on February 3 in the U.S.. For days, smoke containing vinyl chloride, phosgene and hydrogen chloride were emitted during a controlled release and burn in order to avoid explosion.

Recently, residents from East Palestine discovered multicolored sheen on the water and dead fish floating in the creek near the site where the train went off the track. According to CBSNews, local officials said they believed about 3,500 aquatic animals died due to the train derailment, and they provided a new estimate that over 43,700 animals died within a 5-mile (about 8.06 kilometers) area.

According to a CBSNews report, the local authorities relied on an environmental consultant group that was on-site with tools to survey the waterways of Sulphur Run, Leslie Run, Bull Creek and North Fork Little Beaver Creek. In the samples collected by the group at four different sites in the area, they found 2,938 dead aquatic animals including small minnows, fish, amphibians and invertebrates. Based on the sample size, they calculated the total potential aquatic animal death toll is over 43,000.

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