During the time period of more than three weeks after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in the community of East Palestine, Ohio, and spilled toxic chemicals throughout the area, the government has flip-flopped on the severity of the situation. The devastating picture of the lasting impacts of the environmental disaster are becoming evident, thanks to individuals posting on social media.
The toxic cargo in the 50 cars that derailed on the train tracks was set on fire to prevent an explosion, but chemicals, combinations of chemicals, and the fumes of the burnt chemicals were released into the air and the nearby water source. Although citizens nearby were told to leave the area during the burning, they were told later to return to their homes and that the air and water were “safe” to be around, breathe, and drink.
However, residents began posting pictures of sick domestic animals, dead animals, rainbow-affected water, and water itself burning. Similar cases of affected wildlife have also been documented, as it is estimated 43,000 animals are dead. Residents also posted videos of their own health complaints, and toxic air specialists have reported similarities to the FEMA-proclaimed “safe” air in Manhattan following the 911 attacks there. Dust from the collapse of the buildings has been found to cause illness and cancer in those who breathed it in.
As residents and those in surrounding areas are dubious of government claims of “safety” and are seeing otherwise with their own eyes, some are investigating on their own and posting the results of their findings on social media. One reporter decided to follow the flow of the creek where the spill was initiated in an effort to discover if chemicals have spread through the water to other areas.
Ben Bergquam with Real America’s Voice News followed the creek and documented his investigation with video. The video appears to have been taken roughly 15 miles downstream from East Palestine, and just north of where Little Beaver Creek feeds southward into the Ohio River in Midland, Pennsylvania, Western Journal reported.
Bergquam noted he did not find any eyeballed evidence of chemicals in the water, but what he did discover is jarring. In something Bergquam could not explain, he found three deer lifeless within yards of Little Beaver Creek and within yards of each other. As he noted, the animals showed no signs of any physical trauma and had more or less been left alone by other wildlife.
“More concerning footage today from our East Palestine investigation. Dead deer on the banks of Little Beaver Creek at the point where it meets the Ohio River. I followed the creek from East Palestine, to where it merges with the Ohio River to see how far the rainbow chemicals… https://t.co/UpeZoSzYMj pic.twitter.com/rpoZLczYWQ
— Grace Chong 🇺🇸 (@gc22gc) February 27, 2023
Bergquam continued, “Three dead deer within 50 yards of each other.” The reporter noted none of the eyes to other soft tissue on the animals had been touched by scavengers. Of course, it is unclear how long the deer had been there.
Shocked by the finding of the dead animals on the water pathway, Bergquam asked, “Why am I the only one here?” Bergquam concluded he did not want to speculate as to whether the deer he encountered were poisoned by chemicals that are pouring into the Ohio River — which winds its way through the population centers including the city of Cincinnati hundreds of miles downstream. “What is scary, and I can’t say for sure if this is connected or if it’s just a coincidence, but it’s a very odd coincidence,” he said. There is, as of right now, no way of knowing if the animals Bergquam discovered died due to anything related to the train derailment, or if people should be worried, Western Journal noted.
In answer to his remarks, it does seem that the air and water pathways should be investigated in order to find the extent of the reach of toxic chemicals in the environment, and if measures need to be taken about such reach.
But rather investigate as the reporter did, government officials have stated no chemicals related to the derailment have been found in the Ohio River at levels that should concern anyone. Water officials in Cincinnati did announce last week they would stop taking in water from the river and use reserves out of “an abundance of caution.”
Bergquam’s finding and the statements by the federal government show why there is so little trust in the government’s response to the environmental nightmare in East Palestine by the residents and all affected. With that being noted, people living and working in the area have every reason to be on high alert and to view anything they are being told with suspicion. There has been more accurate and to-the-point information shared by social media than by the EPA, FEMA, or elected officials.
Last week, former President Trump made the first major visit to the area. Trump brought gifts of thousands of bottles of drinking water, canned food items, and thousands of gallons of cleaning supplies to hand out to residents who are affected by the disaster. He promised to keep applying pressure to the government to help communities, and then bought McDonalds meals for all first responders in East Palestine.