At least 43,700 animals died in the Norfolk Southern train derailment, according to an official estimate. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), 38,222 minnows have died in all 8 km of water from the derailment point to the point where the Bull Creek River flows at the north fork of Little Beaver Creek. Also, according to experts, 5,500 representatives of other species - small fish, crayfish, amphibians and macroinvertebrates - died.
ODNR director Mary Mertz spoke about how the calculations were made. According to her, employees of the department collected dead fish at four different points with the help of nets. The collection took place over two days - February 6 and 7. During this time, ODNR staff collected 2,938 dead aquatic animals at four survey points, of which about 75% were minnows and the remaining 25% were other small river dwellers. After that, ODNR resorted to a scientifically based calculation approved by the American Fisheries Society. Experts of the department emphasize that none of the dead animals is endangered.
The derailment of a train carrying highly toxic chemicals occurred on February 3 on the border between the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. 50 out of 141 wagons derailed, dangerous substances were transported in 20 of them. The likely cause of the crash is a mechanical failure of the axle in one of the cars. As a result of the crash, toxic substances entered the Ohio River. Everyone living within a radius of 2 km from the accident site was evacuated. Some local residents filed a class action lawsuit against Norfolk Southern.