(WKBN) — In light of the East Palestine train derailment fire, First News spoke to a hazardous materials specialist.
Sil Caggiano is a former Battalion Chief with the Youngstown Fire Department who is also a hazardous materials specialist.
When asked how serious the situation in East Palestine is, Caggiano responded, “Well, from what I understand there, got a tanker car there, vinyl chloride that is starting to build up pressure and they’re fearing that it may explode.”
He then further detailed how the fire and chemicals released from it could affect the health of those in the vicinity.
“The resulting fire is going to release the vinyl chloride, which will burn and turn into hydrogen chloride and turn into phosgene,” Caggiano said. “Phosgene is pretty dangerous. It’s ACG Chemical from World War One. … It’s a respiratory, you know, acidic type thing. It’ll cause mucosal membranes inside your lungs to fill. You know, it’ll be like pneumonia. … It has an immediately dangerous to life and health rating of three parts per million.”
In response to the question of if he agreed to the way the situation was being handled, Caggiano said he agreed with what they’re doing and, “You’re you know, you’re up against the wall. You can’t put firefighters there.”
Caggiano’s full interview is available in the video above.