Seven US government investigators became sick while researching the possible health impacts of the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment in early March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Roughly half of the 15-person CDC team reported symptoms including sore throats, mild headaches, coughing and nausea — similar to conditions documented by East Palestine locals after the toxic Feb. 3 derailment.
Investigators who experienced symptoms were part of a group conducting surveys house to house in a neighborhood near the derailment.
“Symptoms resolved for most team members later the same afternoon, and everyone resumed work on survey data collection within 24 hours,” a CDC rep said in a statement to CNN.
All team members resumed data collection within 24 hours, and “impacted team members have not reported ongoing health effects,” the CDC added.
An official familiar with the workers’ illnesses told CNN that while it’s unclear what caused their symptoms, members of the team found it suspicious they became ill at the same time with the same symptoms.
Their mysterious illnesses come as government officials and representatives from Norfolk Southern, the company that operated the train, insist that the air and water in the small Ohio town were not compromised by the toxic spill.
The catastrophic incident forced residents to evacuate their homes as fires burned for days, prompting widespread panic and causing many locals to experience adverse health effects.
Many locals have expressed frustration over what they say has been a lack of real information.
News of the strange sickness impacting CDC workers comes after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern Railway Company on Thursday.
Court documents show the civil suit filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking damages for alleged violations to the Clean Water Act.
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