NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WKBN) – People across the Mahoning Valley — including those who live in Mahoning and Trumbull counties — reported smelling chlorine after Monday’s controlled release in East Palestine. Officials said it wasn’t dangerous, but one North Lima woman is skeptical about that statement.
Even though North Lima is a little more than 10 miles away from East Palestine, Amanda Breshears said the smell caused her eyes to water when she went to let her dog out. She believes it could be the reason why her birds are now dead.
Breshears was going to feed her five hens and rooster Tuesday morning when she discovered them all lifeless, practically in the same position, with no signs of a predator entering their enclosure.
“I’m beyond upset and quite panicked, ’cause this, they may be just chickens, but they’re family,” she said.
Breshears said her chickens were alive and well on Monday.
She believes that the smell following the detonation of the train carrying chemicals that derailed in East Palestine is to blame for her birds’ sudden death.
“My video camera footage shows my chickens were perfectly fine before they started this burn, and as soon as they started the burn, my chickens slowed down and they died,” she said.
“If it can do this to chickens in one night, imagine what it’s going to do to us in 20 years,” she added.
Officials have said that the smell wasn’t toxic or dangerous but still advised people in the Mahoning Valley to stay indoors Monday night as a precaution.
“For them to say the air quality is OK, I’m calling B.S.,” she said.
Breshears said she is going to be taking the birds to a veterinarian to have them examined in the hopes of holding someone responsible for their deaths.
Sources said this is not the only incident like this that they have heard of in the past day, however, those at the Ohio Department of Agriculture said they haven’t heard of any problems.
The Department of Agriculture released the following statement on Tuesday.
“The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is assuring Ohioans its food supply is safe and the risk to livestock remains low following the East Palestine train derailment.
ODA has not received any reports regarding the wellness of animals related to the incident. As the Ohio EPA and area agencies continue to monitor the air and water quality, ODA is ready to assist as needed.
If you notice unusual behavior in your livestock or domestic pet, please contact your local veterinarian for further guidance.”