This is an environmental catastrophe.

One Fish Dead Fish

Officials have discovered thousands of dead fish, CBS News reports, after a catastrophic train derailment near East Palestine, Ohio caused copious amounts of toxic chemicals to spill into the surrounding area and waterways.

A video spreading on Tiktok shows dead fish floating in a creek roughly two miles from the derailment.

The train, made up of 38 cars, derailed earlier this month, forcing crews to conduct a controlled release of toxic chemicals to avoid an explosion.

The dire environmental consequences the incident has had on the surrounding environment are only starting to make themselves apparent.

According to Mary Mertz, the director of Ohio's Department of Natural Resources, around 3,500 dead fish have been recovered from local streams, making up at least 12 different species.

"The good news is that none of those species are threatened or endangered, but that is still a loss of wildlife," Mertz told CBS. "Among the dead fish species are creek chub, mottled sclupin and stonerollers."

Contaminated Water

Local authorities are now carefully monitoring the situation.

"Wildlife officers have been there every day on the scene, working with contractors who are in the water doing the net sampling, making the estimates," Mertz said, "and we will continue to monitor and watch what's going on and eventually hold those responsible, accountable for the loss of wildlife in the area."

According to Mertz, it's still unclear if any non-aquatic species have suffered as a result of the derailment.

There have, however, been reports of people noticing their pets starting to experience strange symptoms, from swollen faces to diarrhea, Newsweek reports.

Officials are also starting to see traces of dangerous and potentially carcinogenic chemicals in local waterways, which doesn't bode well, since they have also spilled into the Ohio River, which provides drinking water for more than five million people.

The Ohio EPA, however, claims that locals aren't in any danger.

READ MORE: Thousands of dead fish and contamination in waterways: How the Ohio train derailment is affecting the environment [CBS News]

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