Latest: One person arrested for getting too close to train derailment scene, EP schools closed on Monday


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As of Sunday afternoon, East Palestine remains in a State of Emergency, according to Mayor Trent Conaway.

City officials also say a mandatory evacuation/stay in place order remains in effect within a one-mile radius of the derailment.

Conaway noted he’s been in contact with East Palestine City Schools and they will be closed Monday as crews continue to work the scene. The city building will also be closed on Monday.

Members with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were present at the Sunday afternoon press conference and reiterated that there is currently no health risks to the community, despite the awful smell due to the chemical vinyl chloride and other chemicals that continues to burn in the train cars.

The EPA has placed containment dams and two aeration locations around the city to test the water and air quality.

The Columbiana County Sheriff’s department is going door-to-door within the evacuation zone in an effort to get residents to leave and also gather a headcount of how many residents remain within the one-mile radius of the derailment.

Mayor Conaway also noted police arrested one person Saturday night for “misconduct at an emergency” after they disregarded police barriers and got right up to the scene of the derailment.

“You’re endangering our police and fire by them having to come and tell you to stay away,” Conaway said. “There’s nothing to see. There’s plenty of pictures on social media. That’s as good as it’s going to get.”

Norfolk Southern has not given fire officials the green light yet to go in and battle the blaze. Fire Chief Keith Drabick added that the safety features on the train cars are doing their jobs, which is to protect the public from the chemicals.

Besides the vinyl chloride, city officials do not have a full list of the other chemicals on board.

City leaders also emphasis that residents should not call dispatch for non-emergencies, but to dial 211 for any additional information.

Norfolk South has established a center to address the needs of the community and help those impacted by the evacuation. As of Sunday, they have been in contact with nearly 200 of the 1,500-2,000 who have been evacuated.