Residents relocated after East Palestine train derailment

Gabby Jonas, TV2 News

TV2 Staff

Over 40 residents living in East Palestine were relocated to an evacuation center after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed from its tracks and caught fire Friday night.

Residents were directed to East Palestine High School to seek shelter, and the American Red Cross is working around the clock to provide aid to individuals at the site. Each resident is provided with food, water and shelter.

“We will be here until we are not needed anymore,” Jeff Mann, American Red Cross volunteer, said.

Michelle Massey, a long-time resident of East Palestine, recalled the moment she heard the train derail from its tracks.

“I could see it from my front porch,” Massey said. “I heard this boom. I thought it was thunder and then that’s when the fire was there.”

That’s when she packed up her things and made her way to the high school as soon as the police told her to evacuate.

“I got my medicines and fresh clothes and stuff,” Massey said. “I quite literally walked [to the high school.]”

Those who are staying at the evacuation center said they are thankful for the support from the American Red Cross during this time.

“We have cots. We have a place to sleep and they bring in some fairly decent food,” Rodger Walker, a retired United States veteran, said. “They’re some very caring people.”

Another evacuee, Steven Carpenter, said he is grateful for the friends he’s made in the evacuation center.

“It’s funny how you make friends during a disaster,” Carpenter said. “I’m just happy that I don’t have the toxic stuff, and I’m not alone in the dark at night.”

As of right now, all evacuation centers will remain open to evacuees. It is still unclear when people will be able to return home.

Gabby Jonas is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].