What Caused the Ohio Train Derailment and Chemical Spill in East, Palestine?

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

What Caused the Ohio Train Derailment and Chemical Spill in East, Palestine?

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating the cause of the Ohio train derailment that resulted in a chemical spill in East Palestine, OH.

While the NTSB has not made an official determination, they have obtained two videos that show preliminary indications of mechanical issues on one of the railcar axles.

hot box, which is when a wheel bearing overheats on a railcar, led to a fire which then caused the derailment.

The train did drive through a hot box detector shortly before the derailment, which alerted the crew to the mechanical issue.

An emergency brake application was initiated, but the train was not able to stop in time.


Former State Rep Bob Hagan, who worked in the railroad industry for 50 years, believes cutbacks on railroad jobs are partially to blame for situations like the one in East Palestine.

Trains are now longer, and there are fewer employees to monitor the hot box detectors and to stop the train if there is an issue.

“When I was working on the railroad, you would have 100 cars which would be about one mile, they’ve doubled those up, sometimes tripled those up.

So now you have trains that are three miles long that are impossible to look out the back window when you’re going around a curve to see if anything is on fire,” Hagan said.

The train was carrying 141 load cars, nine empty cars, and three locomotives.

It was transporting goods from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania.

Security footage captured in Salem, Ohio, around 20 miles west of East Palestine, showed sparks or flames under at least one of the cars on the train before the derailment occurred.

While the NTSB has not yet made a determination, it is believed that a mechanical issue with an axle of one of the 150 cars caused the derailment of at least 50 of the cars.

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Contact an Experienced Toxic Spill Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one have been affected by the recent chemical spill in East Palestine, OH, you may be entitled to compensation.

The chemicals released during the train derailment can have serious and long-term health effects, and it’s important to take action to protect your rights.

Contact the experienced attorneys at TruLaw for an Instant Case Evaluation.

Our team has the knowledge and resources to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Don’t wait, contact us today.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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