The State of Ohio has lodged a civil lawsuit against freight railroad operating company Norfolk Southern over the derailment of a freight train in East Palestine near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.

The lawsuit has been filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

A petition has been filed by the Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost seeking compensation for the damages that happened in the town due to the train derailment.

As per the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this incident resulted in the release of around 6.3 million gallons of hazardous liquid wastewater into the town of East Palestine.

The agency also reported that about 27,700t of excavated soil must be removed from the town, while 3,200t of soil has already been removed.

No injuries were reported from the incident but most of the residents have left the town due to the release of toxic chemicals from the derailed cars.

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In a statement following an announcement by Ohio Attorney General David Yost, Norfolk Southern said that it is making progress every day in cleaning the site safely, as well as offering financial assistance to residents and businesses that were affected due to the incident.

It stated: “Finally, we have heard the community’s interest in programmes that protect drinking water over the long term. We are prepared to work with stakeholders toward that goal as well. 

“We look forward to working toward a final resolution with Attorney General Yost and others as we coordinate with his office, community leaders, and other stakeholders to finalise the details of these programmes.”

This month, US investigative agency National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched a special probe into the safety practices of Norfolk Southern.