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Erin Brockovich warns Ohio train derailment is transpiring into a ‘nightmare': None of this makes sense

Consumer advocate and legal clerk Erin Brockovich tells those exposed to the toxic train derailment in Ohio to trust their guts on what they're seeing, smelling and feeling.

Consumer advocate and whistleblower Erin Brockovich advised residents of East Palestine, Ohio, to "believe their own instincts" as state officials claim there’s no longer any air or water hazards.

"They need to believe what it is they're smelling, what it is they're seeing, what it is they're feeling, what it is they're experiencing," Brockovich said on "Kennedy" Wednesday evening.

Almost two weeks after a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed and caught fire near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, Gov. Mike DeWine said East Palestine’s water is safe to drink and the air clean to breathe on "The Story with Martha MacCallum."

The train with 50 rail cars, 10 of which were carrying vinyl chloride, caused hazardous chemicals to spill onto the ground and sent a plume of smoke into the air.


A controlled release of chemicals was done to avoid the risk of an explosion. Residents were evacuated before officials conducted the controlled release, but have since been allowed back.

Some residents aren’t buying officials’ words, and believe serious health hazards remain. East Palestine residents Nathan Izotic and his wife Kelly told Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that they're seeing the effects of the chemicals first-hand.

"We are seeing them locally and inside of our bodies. What we're experiencing – local fish in our creeks have died… oily sheens and coloration in our water… [the] constant smell of burning plastics and chemicals in the air… issues with our dog… vomiting, acting lethargic. It's scary stuff here," Izotic said.

Nathan Velez, another resident of East Palestine, said that he's experienced persistent headaches.

"My house is just across the tracks… and it smells, too. You can’t spend a lot of time here without feeling like crap," he said. "And my question is why, if it’s okay if it’s safe, and all these people say it’s safe, if it’s so safe and okay, then why does it hurt?"

The lack of trust between the state and its constituents is turning this environmental and health disaster into a "nightmare," Brockovich warned.


"This is just turning into one nightmare, if you ask me, because testing can take time, you just don't flip from, the air is bad, the air is safe, oh, we're going to evacuate. Oh, by the way, we're going to bring you back, but the water's polluted. None of this is making any sense," Brockovich explained. "And you wonder why the community is angry, frustrated and fearful, because there's no consistent data."

With no confirmed data for other advocates or legal experts to review, Brockovich called the aftermath situation a "guessing game" that’s creating "tragedy" within a community.

"What a mismanaged disaster and lack of total communication," she said. "And so that community is going to have to rely on themselves: what they know, what they feel and what their instincts are. Because at this point, I don't think anyone's trusting the information that's coming out."

In answering whether any of the released chemicals can become cumulative or more dangerous as time goes on, the whistleblower confirmed some, like benzene, "absolutely could be."

"Some of their symptoms are telltale signs of a benzene exposure, you would need to be doing immediate blood testing," Brockovich signaled. "So in the absence of so much information, I don't know how any agency could deem this all clear and safe for these people."


Brockovich put the onus on Norfolk Southern Railway to take responsibility for the disaster, and on the governor to present the facts to the public.

"I think it derailed because we've got a lot of safety issues and we've got a lot of infrastructure issues," the consumer advocate said. "And we're going to obviously have to have that conversation."


Fox News’ Adam Sabes contributed to this report.

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