East Palestine, Ohio (AP) – February 2, 2024 – With the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic train derailment in East Palestine looming, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost reiterated his commitment to securing answers and ensuring accountability. He expressed concerns about the lack of a full statement of facts from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigating the disaster.
“As this difficult anniversary approaches, there’s a strong desire for closure,” Yost acknowledged. “However, rushing the process wouldn’t serve the community well. We still need answers to crucial questions that will help prevent similar tragedies in the future.”
The derailment on February 3rd, 2023, resulted in the release of hazardous chemicals, triggering evacuations and causing widespread environmental concerns. While whispers of a settlement have emerged, Yost emphasized the need for a thorough understanding of the incident before any agreement.
“I cannot, in good conscience, agree to a settlement without complete information about what happened, who is accountable, and how to prevent similar incidents,” he stated. “A rush to judgment wouldn’t be responsible.”
The NTSB investigation remains ongoing, leaving critical questions unanswered. These include details about the failed rail car, responsibilities of involved parties, safety equipment effectiveness, and factors influencing the decision to “vent and burn” hazardous materials.
Despite recent meetings with Norfolk Southern, Yost highlighted the need for further transparency. “The health and safety of East Palestine residents, along with environmental restoration, remain our top priorities,” he said. “Time won’t hinder our commitment to securing justice for the community, both now and in the years to come.”