Norfolk Southern official hammered by Ohio residents at train derailment town hall

Angry Ohio residents concerned about their health and wellbeing following a toxic train derailment in East Palestine tore into Norfolk Southern officials during a contentious town hall meeting, with one man begging the railroad’s owner to “please get our people out of here.”

Norfolk Southern representative Darrell Wilson repeatedly was interrupted by shouting audience members Thursday night as he tried to speak on behalf of the company regarding the Feb. 3 disaster.

“We are sorry. We are very sorry for what happened. We feel horrible about it,” Wilson said.

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“We are going to clean up the site,” he continued, before a resident shouted “You should have done it right the first time!”


East Palestine, Ohio resident confronts Norfolk Southern official

A resident of East Palestine, Ohio, addresses a Norfolk Southern official during a town hall meeting there on Thursday night. (WEWS)

Norfolk Southern town hall Ohio train derailment

A resident of East Palestine, Ohio, addresses Norfolk Southern officials during a town hall meeting there on Thursday night. (WEWS)

Many in the town near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border have complained that Norfolk Southern reopened the stretch of tracks where the derailment happened less than a week after the incident and didn’t remove the soil underneath it, according to The Associated Press.

Wilson said Thursday that the railroad operator is now planning to dig up those areas and could get all the contaminated soil out by the end of April, but buying homes and moving locals out of East Palestine hasn’t come up in company discussions, the AP added.


Ohio train derailment

Drone footage shows the freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 6. (NTSBGov/Handout via REUTERS / Reuters Photos)

“We are going to test until we can get all the contamination gone, alright? But we are sorry, and we do care,” he said.

But Wilson’s assurances appeared to have a limited effect on those attending the town hall meeting Thursday night.

Eats Palestine smoke plume

A black plume rises over East Palestine, Ohio, after a controlled detonation of a portion of the derailed Norfolk Southern trains on Feb. 6, 2023.  ((AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) / AP Newsroom)

“It’s not safe here sir, we are sick. I don’t want your money,” one man told Norfolk Southern representatives.

“We are not imagining this. This is not something we asked for, sir. I am begging you by the grace of God please get our people out of here,” he added.