For days, authorities have been telling residents of the area around East Palestine, Ohio, that it is safe to return home after a 150-car train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed Feb. 3.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the chemical spill resulting from the derailment had killed an estimated 3,500 small fish across 7½ miles of streams as of Wednesday.
The day before, rail operator Norfolk Southern had burned train cars carrying vinyl chloride — a flammable gas — to prevent an explosion.
Something is going on if the fish are floating in the creek," Cathey Reese, who lives in Negley, Ohio, told NBC affiliate WPXI of Pittsburgh last week.
Reese said she saw dead fish in a stream that flows through her backyard.
Ohio National Guard members prepare to assess remaining hazards in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 7.
Ohio officials said Wednesday that residents could return home after air quality samples "showed readings at points below safety screening levels for contaminants of concern.". »