At least 3,500 fish killed in 7.5-mile stretch of Ohio water after train derailment, officials say

Most of the dead fish appear to be small such as darters, suckers and minnows.

Published: February 14, 2023 8:25am

Updated: February 14, 2023 8:45am

At least 3,500 fish are dead across a 7 1/2 mile stream after a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, earlier this month, officials said Tuesday, as residents are expressing concerns about the toxic chemicals that were released last week.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife officers found dead fish in Leslie Run, Bull Creek, and a portion of the North Fork of Beaver Creek, agency spokeswoman Stephanie O'Grady told Just the News on Tuesday. 

"The estimated stream length [affected] is approximately 7 ½ miles. We continue to work with the Ohio EPA and the environmental company hired by Norfolk Southern to determine the number of fish that were killed," she wrote in an email. "As of February 8th, we estimate the spill killed 3,500 fish. Most of the fish appear to be small suckers, minnows, darters, and sculpin."

In order to avoid an explosion of toxic chemicals in the derailed train, officials released vinyl chloride from some of the cars. East Palestine residents returned to their homes late last week after they were evacuated following the derailment.

Four miles south of East Palestine in Negley, Ohio, resident Cathey Reese said dead fish appeared in a creek flowing through her backyard last week, local outlet WPXI reported.

"Don’t tell me it’s safe. Something is going on if the fish are floating in the creek," she said.

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