MADISON, Ill. – The train that caused the emergency environmental disaster in Ohio is said to have come from Madison, Illinois.

“You don’t really have a fighting chance if it happens right there, you know,” said Mark Stamps.

Stamps live one block from where chemical trains line State Street.

“…Being around it all my life, you never think that the chemicals, you know, would be coming from right there,” he said.

An environmental catastrophe continues to unfold in East Palestine, Ohio, following the Feb. 3 train derailment. The trains reportedly came from the rail yard in Madison, Illinois.

“I can’t believe it came from the town that I live in. It’s just amazing,” Stamps said. I didn’t think they were shipping out chemicals like that around here.”

Making Stamps even more uneasy is the thought of the August fire that broke out right next to those train tracks. People who lived within a mile of the plant, which recycles things like lithium batteries, were told to leave when a red alert went off.

“What can you do about it?” said Benny Dunnavant, who lives near a rail line.

He said he’s a goner if there’s a similar train derailment in his backyard.

“It would be one hell of a mess,” he said. “This is a big terminal down here. It’s your cutoff for pretty much all your trains coming through here.”

The area did experience a train derailment nearby. It happened in January 2021 on Route 3 near Packers Avenue. Six train cars were involved, but in this case, most were empty except for two that were loaded with automobiles.

Residents wonder if they are ready to handle an accident like they’re seeing in Ohio.

“I feel sorry for the people over there (in Ohio). Their whole life is ruined just like that,” Stamps said.

St. Clair County’s Emergency Response Operations Deputy Chief said they are training regularly, working with the railroads as well as state and federal agencies. So they’re ready to not only handle an emergency, but also monitor emissions and move citizens if necessary.