The hazardous chemicals train that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio on Friday is on the verge of exploding, officials say.
- Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says five of the train's cars were carrying vinyl chloride -- a highly unstable chemical that could explode and send toxic fumes into the air. The blast is expected to be so big that evacuations have been ordered in two states: Ohio and Pennsylvania. DeWine says people who ignore evacuation orders face the "grave danger of death," while residents in outlying areas risk "severe injury, including skin burns and serious lung damage."
- On Monday afternoon, crews began a "controlled release" of the chemical in an effort to avoid a catastrophic blast, DeWine says. The fumes from the five cars will be channeled into a ground trench, according to Norfolk Southern Railroad rep Scott Deutsch. Although vinyl chloride has not yet been detected in the air surrounding the crash site, the EPA's James Justice says, "Things can change at any moment."