Former President Donald Trump is preparing next week to visit community leaders in East Palestine, Ohio, the site of a recent train derailment in which harmful chemicals were discharged.
The planned visit, according to a source that informed Fox News, comes after nearly 50 Norfolk Southern Railroad train cars carrying vinyl chloride derailed on Feb. 3 around the Ohio-Pennsylvania border village.
Local residents were told to immediately evacuate the area after the Ohio government and railroad company agreed to a "controlled release" of the toxins to alleviate the risk of uncontrollable shrapnel from an explosion.
Despite being told it's safe to return on Feb. 9, residents have reported severe symptoms from toxins and chemicals that have seeped into the air, surface water, and allegedly groundwater since.
But local authorities have offered assurances that the groundwater is unaffected.
The Biden administration announced Friday that it would deploy personnel from the Department of Health and Human Services to the town.
It previously denied Ohio GOP Gov. Mike DeWine's request for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance a day prior, ABC's WSYX 6 reported.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which has been investigating the incident, said it recently identified the car that caused the derailment and reviewed video showing an overheated wheel bearing.
"NTSB continues to work with the investigative parties to determine what exactly caused the derailment and to evaluate the emergency response efforts," the group said, adding that the wheel bearing "has been collected and will be examined by engineers" in Washington, D.C.
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