(WHTM) — It’s been nearly three weeks since a train derailed on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border and there are still lots of questions about the accident and the following cleanup.

Residents expressed outrage and fear at a public hearing in Beaver County. Norfolk Southern’s boss was noticeably absent, and he declined an invitation to speak.

However, lots of others stepped up to the microphone.

“We’re supposed to live in our house, get poisoned, and wait?” said a resident.

When the train jumped the tracks, lives were derailed, residents told the senate committee.

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“Living in pure panic and anxiety and anguish. You just don’t know what to do,” said Lonni Miller, who lives nearby where the trail derailment happened.

Residents are scared, angry, and feel abandoned.

“The overall lack of support from our elected officials has been nothing short of pathetic,” another resident said.

Community members are also skeptical that officials are properly testing air and water, or even know what to be testing for.

“What happens when these gases are ignited and burn for days? We need some real help and real specialists to come in here and tell us what we need to do,” added Katie Schlarz-Waelder, who also lives near the trail derailment site.

One man had this invitation for officials, including Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, who says it’s safe to return home.

“I invite you to my home. I invite you and your family to my home, and have a slumber party and tell me what your symptoms are,” said Chris Wells, another impacted community member.

Shapiro has been to the scene of the derailment several times and his team says it’s doing all it can. Shapiro promised this week to hold Norfolk Southern accountable.

Randy Padfield, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, testified the plan was to do a controlled burn on one car. That ultimately changed to five cars and Norfolk Southern told Padfield they’re the experts and there was no other option.

“I personally am not comfortable with that,” Padfield said.

But Padfield is comfortable that the state took the incident seriously, monitored aggressively, and had necessary boots on the ground.

“Pennsylvania State Police there, PennDOT there, all the other state agencies there to support the expanded evacuation zone if it was needed in that point in time,” Padfield added.

Norfolk Southern was blasted in the hearing and Republicans and Democrats were united in their disdain.

State Senator Katie Muth (D), who co-chairs the Emergency Preparedness Committee with Senator Doug Mastriano (R), says the company prioritizes profits over safety.

“There’s a lot of bought and paid for politicians who refuse to take the necessary steps to keep us safe,” Muth said. “Norfolk Southern should be held accountable, but you all deserve to be bought out and moved is what you really deserve.”

“It’s not hyperbole for me to say that I believe in the long run this is going to prove to be more of an ecological disaster than Three Mile Island. Time will tell. I hope I’m wrong, but prove it to me. I’m not convinced we’re being told the truth at this point,” said Mastriano.

Lawmakers aren’t letting go of the train derailment, and abc27 was told the Senate Transportation Committee will hold a hearing soon.