Stephen Colbert slams Ohio train derailment’s paltry compensation offer

Late Night host Stephen Colbert has weighed in on the Ohio train derailment,(Opens in a new tab) which spilled 1.1 million pounds of the incredibly toxic, highly explosive carcinogen vinyl chloride in the small town of East Palestine. It also spilled a bunch of other chemicals as well, but as Colbert noted, the full list wasn’t released until over a week later(Opens in a new tab) — on the day of the Super Bowl.

“They were clearly trying to bury it because the only list of dangerous chemicals you want to read during the Super Bowl is on the side of your Doritos bag,” Colbert said.


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Colbert also slammed Norfolk Southern, the railway company responsible for the spill, for its paltry initial offer to pay the town $25,000 in compensation. East Palestine has a population of around 5,000, so this worked out to be about $5 per person. Norfolk Southern has since upped its offer to $1,000 per person as an “inconvenience fee.”

“You call this an inconvenience?” said Colbert. “That’s like giving survivors of the Titanic a reimbursement for dampness.”

Meanwhile, officials have told residents that it’s safe to return to their homes, despite many experiencing symptoms such as trouble breathing, nausea, and headaches. Given absolutely any other option, East Palestine’s locals probably won’t want to return for a while yet.

“Yes, pay no attention to your lying lungs,” quipped Colbert. “The tingling means the air is working.”

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