Ohio Residents Confront Train Company Over Derailment as EPA Orders Tests
It is Norfolk Southern that has faced the largest barrage of demands and intensifying scrutiny from lawmakers and officials, who are furious over not only the derailment, but also the consequences of the decision to burn off some of the toxic chemicals carried by the train.
Mr. Wilson, the company representative, repeatedly struggled to speak over the angry crowd on Thursday, even as he pledged that Norfolk Southern would continue to support the community and that it had signed a lease in the town.
“They’re sending a representative because they’re scared,” said Courtney Miller, 35, who lives about 100 yards from the derailment site, she said. “They’re scared because we’re mad, we’re upset.”
“These people care, and I can’t leave them,” she added, her voice choking up. “So I will stand here and stomp my feet and be as loud as I can, until somebody does something and gets these people out of here. It’s not safe.”
While the company’s chief executive, Alan H. Shaw, separately made a trip to meet with local officials and some railroad employees last month, some residents were disappointed to not be able to confront him on Thursday.
At one point, someone in the crowd could be heard asking, “Where’s Alan?” Another person passed out T-shirts mocking the company’s logo, rebranding it as “Nofolk sufferin” and replacing the logo’s horse with a broken train.
Candice Desanzo, 43, who came to the meeting with her 1- and 2-year-old sons, said she was worried about their health and determined to speak to Mr. Shaw directly.