Union Claims Workers At Train Crash Site Becoming Sick

Workers at the cleanup crash of the Feb. 3 Ohio chemical spill have developed serious illness according to a union leader on site.

The alarming information about the aftermath of the East Palestine crash came from a letter from Jonathan Long, a union rep entitled “Norfolk Southern Is Dangerous to America” sent to Secretary of State Pete Buttigieg. 

Long represents members of maintenance employees from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Long’s letter states that workers did not receive appropriate protection to handle the chemical spill. 

This included a lack of respirators and eye protection. The union representative wrote that rail workers are experiencing “migraines and nausea” and that “all suspect that they were willingly exposed to these chemicals” by the railroad company. Long blamed this on “a basic tenet of the railway company’s “cost-cutting business model.”

The news also comes as serious concerns about the spill itself and the federal government’s response draw major criticism.

The spread of illness is making the situation in the small Ohio town more complex. The spill of thousands of gallons of dangerous chemicals, including carcinogenic dioxins is not yet resolved.

Furthermore, the crash included the derailment of 50 train cars, opening a uniquely challenging case for cleanup and railway employees. Some of the spilled chemicals were incinerated in a large controlled burn.Both activists and local residents fear that the spill and burn significantly increased the number of dangerous chemicals in and around the train crash site. 

The revelations by the union also highlight the growing natural death toll related to the crash. One report cited tens of thousands of dead animals at the “hellish” site.


While at least tens of thousands of mostly marine animals have died, there is significant concern about the health of local pets and residents.


One resident told local media about his fox “coughing really hard, just shut down and he had liquid diarrhea and just went very fast.” The description included animals developing “watery eyes and puffy faces,” as well as a loss of appetite.

The illness of animals and humans alike will increase pressure on President Joe Biden to visit the Ohio town.

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