WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – The former US President donald trump visited the location in the state of Ohio affected by an environmental disaster caused by a train accident. Trump spoke Wednesday in the small town of East Palestine, where a freight train loaded with dangerous chemicals derailed and caught fire in early February. Large amounts of the sometimes highly toxic substances had polluted the air and got into the soil and water.
Trump announced that he would distribute thousands of bottles of drinking water. He also criticized the government of his successor, Joe Biden. They didn’t send help quickly enough after the accident. “What this community needs now is not excuses, but answers and results,” Trump said. The White House announced that President Biden was informed about the situation in East Palestine on Tuesday during his trip to Europe.
Trump said he hopes Biden will have some cash left after his trip to Ukraine when he comes to East Palestine. In doing so, he took up criticism from some Republicans that the US government was giving too much aid to Ukraine and paying too little attention to the problems at home. Trump claimed that just because of his visit, the government is now paying more attention to those affected.
So far, no high-ranking government representative has been at the scene of the accident. On Wednesday, Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg also announced a trip to East Palestine for Thursday. Buttigieg explained his late visit, more than two weeks after the accident, that he wanted to give the investigators enough time for an independent investigation of the accident.
On February 3, 38 cars of the 150-car train derailed and some caught fire. Large amounts of the sometimes highly toxic chemicals such as vinyl chloride were released into the environment. A huge cloud of smoke hung over the place. He was temporarily evacuated. After the accident, residents complained about health problems – including headaches, irritated eyes and a rash./htg/DP/zb