Cleanup workers of East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment are reporting prolonged bouts of sickness and other symptoms, according to a union representative.
In a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine, Jonathan Long of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees reported the workers were feeling ill.
“Many other employees reported that they continue to experience migraines and nausea, days after the derailment, and they all suspect that they were willingly exposed to these chemicals at the direction of Norfolk Southern” wrote Mr. Long, whose union is a division of the Teamsters.
The letter also claims the workers were not given proper protective gear during the cleanup, which included eye protection and respirators, the Washington Times reported.
But Norfolk Southern, which owns the derailed train, strongly disagreed with Mr. Long’s claims.
“In East Palestine, Norfolk Southern was on-scene immediately after the derailment and coordinated our response with hazardous material professionals who were on site continuously to ensure the work area was safe to enter and the required PPE utilized,” the company told The Hill.
East Palestine was evacuated soon after the derailment amid concerns about health risks.
But not long after, residents were told they could return to their homes.
As The Daily Fetched reported earlier this week, Ohio residents reported unusual health problems.
Ohio resident, Wade Lovett, reported suffering from breathing issues after the derailment and controlled burn of hazardous materials.
“Doctors say I definitely have the chemicals in me, but there’s no one in town who can run the toxicological tests to find out which ones they are,” Lovett told the New York Post.
“My voice sounds like Mickey Mouse. My normal voice is low,” he said.
“It’s hard to breathe, especially at night,” he added. “My chest hurts so much at night I feel like I’m drowning. I cough up phlegm a lot. I lost my job because the doctor won’t release me to go to work.”
Another resident, Shelby Walker, said she and her family had suffered various symptoms since the derailment.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg faced massive criticism for his slow response to the crisis.
One resident had a message for Buttigieg and President Joe Biden. He said, “Pete Buttigieg, you should step down. That’s the truth. You’re not very good at your job at all. In fact, you stink.”