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Paulsboro, NJ Residents Wary Amid Conflicting Information on Derailment and Leak

By Pat Loeb

PAULSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — Paulsboro, NJ residents remained on edge today as officials continued to formulate a plan to clean up the train derailment that led to a vinyl chloride release last Friday.

Schools remain closed until further notice (see related story), and business has been slow at Weiss’ Hardware, on West Broa, Paulsboro’s main street.  But Phil Weiss says he’s staying open.

“As long as nobody gets seriously hurt in any way, shape, or form, we’re just here in case anybody needs us for anything,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

But many residents are worried about their safety and, like Doug Ricotta of D & D Bakery, are not sure they can trust what they’re hearing from public officials.

“Air quality is good, it’s not good, they don’t know, school is open, school’s closed,” he says with consternation.  “Nobody in their right mind wants to come to a town where there’s a tank leaking some kind of poison gas where we can’t get answers.”

Officials say the town is safe outside of the evacuated area near the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board hinted that the crash might have been avoided if more attention had been paid to ongoing problems with the bridge, including a red signal warning the train that derailed not to cross.

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