President Biden to travel to East Palestine next week
President Joe Biden will travel to East Palestine, Ohio, on Friday
President Joe Biden will travel to East Palestine, Ohio, on Friday, about a year after a Norfolk Southern train there derailed and spilled a cocktail of hazardous chemicals that caught fire.
The White House said on Saturday the president would travel there to ensure state and local officials "hold Norfolk Southern accountable".
East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway, a conservative who does not support Biden, extended the invitation to the Democratic president, saying the visit will be good for his community.
The February 3, 2023, derailment forced thousands of people from their homes near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
Area residents still have lingering fears about potential health effects from the toxic chemicals that spilled in the accident, and from the vinyl chloride that was released a few days after the crash to keep tank cars from exploding.
Biden's decision not to visit the site until now had become a subject of persistent questioning by reporters at the White House, as well as among residents in East Palestine.