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East Palestine evacuee frustrated with response to train derailment: 'I think they hid things from us'

East Palestine residents have evacuated to nearby cities, including Poland and Canfield. One evacuee tells 3News she feels betrayed by the city and railway.

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — From miles away, you could see and hear the explosion in East Palestine as a "controlled release" of chemicals inside the derailed railroad cars took place on Monday. 

It looked like a black mushroom in the air.

"I'm worried about what's in the air. I'm worried about the kids, of course. It's very worrisome." says Cindy Labouy, the general manager of Cocca's Pizza in Poland.

While she is 15 miles from the site of the train derailment, she has taken orders from folks who came here to evacuate.

"It (the derailment) brings a lot of people into this area, as well as all of our hotels are booked up," Labouy explains.

Hotels booked to capacity include a Hampton Inn in Boardman. Evacuee Lisa Fulton is among those ordering pizza. She lives right near the tracks where the derailment happened on Friday night.

"When we looked out the window, we can see right where the fire was," Fulton recalls. "The cars were on fire and kept on going right down the track."

Fulton left her home on Friday, returned on Saturday, and left again on Sunday. Fulton is upset with the city, the rail company and the fire department. She says she feel misled.

"I think they hid things from us," Fulton says.

Fulton told 3News that residents were initially told to evacuate as a precaution, not that something like this would ever happen.

"Who knows when we will go back? "It's never going to be the same again. The air is going to be terrible, the water is going to be terrible, and the ground is going to be terrible," Fulton adds. "Norfolk Southern said, 'we don't know what was in those' and they knew exactly was was in those tankers."

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