W.Va. Guard team responds to train derailment in Ohio

A fiery train derailment in Ohio on Friday night spurred evacuation calls.
A fiery train derailment in Ohio on Friday night spurred evacuation calls.(Source: Eric Whiting/TMX/CNN)
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 9:39 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Members of the West Virginia National Guard’s 35th Civil Support Team, based in St. Albans, West Virginia, deployed Monday, February 6, 2023, to the town of East Palestine, Ohio, to assist first responders following a large train derailment containing hazardous materials.

Residents kept out as air checked near derailed Ohio train

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine earlier ordered evacuations in the area of the 150-car derailment containing approximately 10 “hazmat cars”, including five cars identified as carrying the chemical vinyl chloride, a volatile suspected carcinogen.

Seven members of the West Virginia Guard have been deployed to assist, including a nuclear medical science officer to help process water samples to make sure chemicals were not leaching into local water supplies, a plume model specialist to assist forecasting of potential hazardous material airborne plumes, three survey specialists to assist with collecting air and water samples, and two members of the unit leadership team to liaise with on-scene counterparts and emergency management officials.

“Our personnel are currently on the ground assisting a combined local, state, and federal response to this dangerous and life-threatening incident,” stated Lt. Col. Jerry Floyd, 35th CST commander. “Our team members are highly trained for these exact type situations, and we are proud to provide assistance to our neighbors in Ohio. The Ohio 52nd CST was the very first team on the ground in 2016 to assist West Virginia during the 2014 Elk River MCHM spill. It’s our honor to return the favor and provide support for and with them.”

“The motto of the National Guard is, ‘Always Ready, Always There’, and this incident is a prime example of the realization of that motto,” stated WVNG Adjutant General Maj. Gen. William “Bill” Crane. “The rapid deployment of critical assets during this time-sensitive endeavor will undoubtedly help to stabilize a potentially life-threatening situation and help on-scene first responders and personnel save lives, property, and critical infrastructure from further damage and threat.”

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.