Paulsboro students return to school after train derailment

December 11, 2012 10:34:58 AM PST
Students in Paulsboro, New Jersey went back to their own schools for the first time in almost two weeks on Tuesday.

They've been reporting to temporary locations since a train derailed into the Mantua Creek back on November 30th, leaking the hazardous chemical vinyl chloride into the air.

People in Paulsboro just want to get their lives back to normal, and they took a big step Tuesday as all Paulsboro public schools opened their doors once again.

"I didn't like sitting home very much so I'm glad to be back in school," said freshman Destyn Edwards.

"It finally gets me to do something else than sit inside and be lazy all day," said freshman Donovan Anderson.

Still, it's not all good news for students. The superintendent says they will have to go into summer break to make up for lost time and, possibly, will give up other days off throughout the year.

There is also a second public meeting scheduled for Tuesday night, through which many people are hoping they can get some more answers from officials.

Many residents left frustrated after last week's public meeting in Paulsboro. Some wanted answers for growing health concerns.

One resident told Action News, "My son has been coughing like crazy since this all happened. I've been light headed, dizzy."

Tonight will be a second chance for answers. People will get updates on the clean up and the progress of returning Paulsboro back to normal.

Friday was the first milestone for most Paulsboro residents when evacuees were allowed back in their homes.

The derailment led to the displacement of nearby residents for a week and closed schools until today.

On Friday and Saturday, air monitors tested more than a dozen businesses and more than 200 homes. They did not detect vinyl chloride.

There are still more than a dozen people who live near the derailment site who remain evacuated. As for the public schools, they were supposed to have a half day on Friday, but that has now been cancelled in place of a full day of classes.


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