An East Palestine, Ohio, resident claims to experience breathing trouble after a February 6 controlled burn of toxic chemicals carried by a derailed train.
Auto detailer Wade Lovett, 40, is a lifelong resident of the sleepy Ohio hamlet adjacent to the Pennsylvania border. A report from the New York Post likened the sound of his voice to someone speaking after inhaling helium.
“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, 40, reportedly said in an extremely high-pitched voice. “My voice sounds like Mickey Mouse. My normal voice is low. It’s hard to breathe, especially at night. 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.”
Lovett and his fiancée, Tawnya Irwin, 45, delivered bottled water to other residents in town Thursday, the report noted. New cases of water were left for him outside an East Clark Street home, the Post reported, adding it has become a focal point for contending with perceived environmental issues.
Norfolk Southern railroad officials reportedly decided to conduct a controlled burn of chemicals in five cars that derailed in the tiny town February 3 to guard against an explosion of all cars. Trenches were dug and the contents of five cars was released into the trenches where they were set on fire.
Ohio officials issued evacuation orders to hundreds of nearby residents February 4 because toxic chemicals were released. The following day, authorities warned nearby residents who had not evacuated to get out of the area in case the derailed cars exploded.
The controlled release and burn of vinyl chloride leaked into newly dug trenches was conducted at 3:30 p.m. February 6.
Two days later, the evacuation order was lifted. The federal government has sent representatives from a number of agencies overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency. Federal officials reportedly conducted widespread testing of ambient air and drinking water in about 500 East Palestine homes.
Despite exhortations from federal agents that the air was safe to breathe and the water fit to drink, some residents remain skeptical. Lovett and Irwin distribute bottled drinking water around town to residents worried about residual contamination from vinyl chloride released from the train cars and then set on fire.
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