Three Derailments And Pete Buttigieg’s Only Response Is A Few Tweets

( – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had no comment regarding the toxic spill, chemical burn, and train derailment near East Palestine, Ohio, on Monday, February 13th. Buttigieg spoke at the National Association of Counties speaking of the present as “an exciting time” while drumming up the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure package that was passed last year.

He didn’t mention the February 3rd derailment of a Norfolk Southern cargo train that caused a 5-day evacuation of the surrounding area while they burned off vinyl chloride, a toxic chemical precursor to polyvinyl chloride or PVC – a type of industrial plastic. According to Newsweek, 150 cars derailed, 20 of which carried toxic chemicals. He ultimately tweeted about it later that evening.

Authorities decided to do a controlled burn of the chemical spill, the stated justification was to avoid an explosion that could send debris flying into the surrounding residential area. They were not quick to admit the full list of chemicals on the train however, that came almost ten days later after the burn had been executed.

Those chemicals include butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, and ethylene glycol monobutyl, all of which are known to cause respiratory damage and skin irritation, not to mention the potential for cancer down the line. Norfolk Southern is already facing a lawsuit, demanding the company pay for medical monitoring for anyone who lives within a 30-mile radius of the site.

Buttigieg likely hadn’t heard about two other derailments that occurred on Monday. One early morning in Texas blocked off a small town and resulted in the death of a truck driver. Somehow the truck and cargo train collided, causing an accident that derailed the train and caused the truck to explode. In Enoree, South Carolina, another cargo train derailed Monday afternoon, thankfully neither situation seems as dangerous as the East Palestine derailment.

After getting pushback from the media, Buttigieg tweeted about the event Monday evening, expressing his concern for the families living in the area. His short thread on the subject claimed that work was being done to monitor the situation and respond accordingly. He also offered resources for folks living in the area who want to have their home screened for chemical contamination by professionals.

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