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Residents Hope For Answers at Tonight’s Derailment Town Meeting in Paulsboro, NJ

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(Donna Ricotta and her husband, Doug, at their bakery in Paulsboro, NJ.  Credit: Pat Loeb)

(Donna Ricotta and her husband, Doug, at their bakery in Paulsboro, NJ. Credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PAULSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — Crews are pumping the remaining vinyl chloride from a rail car damaged in the Paulsboro train derailment last Friday (see related story).

Authorities still can’t give an estimate of how long the cleanup will take, and that’s one of the issues likely to come up at a community meeting scheduled for tonight.

Tonight’s meeting was rescheduled from Monday after fluctuating vinyl chloride levels prompted more evacuations and periodic shelter-in-place orders (another related story).

Resident and local business owner Donna Ricotta has a lot of questions.

“What we’re most concerned about is our health,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “I’ve having a lot of health problems right now.  I’m coughing a lot, and no one’s really telling us what to do if we’re exposed to this.”

Ricotta has not been evacuated, but her daughter has been home from school (see related story), which also concerns her.

Officials say they are moving as fast as is safely possible to clean up the chemicals and the derailed train cars.

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