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In the coming weeks, the federal government is expected to decide on a proposed $31 billion rail merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern that will bring more freight traffic through the Chicago area.
Their decision could be favorable even after a freight train derailment three weeks ago in East Palestine, Ohio, raises concerns here about the possibility of similar accidents. There are an estimated 1,000 train derailments every year.
Illinois members of Congress have opposed the merger, citing concerns over its environmental effects, emergency response times, and commuter rail safety. The plan, they say, could also cause more train delays, noise, vibrations, and safety hazards that lead to derailments and accidents. In a letter to federal regulators, Congressional members stated that a recent environmental study underestimated the merger’s impact and relied on disputed data.
Ohio Train Derailment
Chicago area residents have a right to be concerned. The recent train derailment in Ohio caused a chemical spill into the Ohio River and a dangerous and massive fire. Emergency crews used a controlled burn against a carcinogenic chemical known as vinyl chloride to put out the blaze and reduce the risk of an explosion.
Since then, there have been widespread reports of dead wildlife, toxic fumes, and contamination. In addition, the Ohio River is a significant source of drinking water for millions of people. It is also a vital resource for commercial fishing and recreation. The risk of environmental damage from the spill is high, and the long-term effects are still unknown. Reports of headaches and dizziness among residents have appeared in the news.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is working to assess the damage and determine the best course of action. In the meantime, residents and businesses in the area are being advised to take precautions to protect themselves and their property.
Disasters like the train derailment in Ohio show what can happen to everyday people who suddenly experience a tragic accident. From being rear-ended by a semi-truck to being the victim of medical malpractice, we hear stories firsthand about how big corporations and hospitals deny they are at fault and try to downplay what happened.
As a law firm with experience representing people with life-threatening illnesses – illnesses like cancer from deadly chemicals released into the air by a local manufacturer – we know the price that individuals and families pay for the blatant disregard for human life.
At Smith LaCien, we are a client-centered injury firm, putting our client’s needs first in everything we do. We have a team of lawyers, investigators, and accident experts who can provide the friendly, knowledgeable help you need to get the results you deserve. To learn more about how we can help you, call us at (312) 509-8900 or contact us using our online form.
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