In Illinois, a semitruck carrying anhydrous ammonia toppled, resulting in “multiple fatalities,” the Illinois State Police reported to CBS News on Saturday. According to police, the leak forced the evacuation of local households.
At at 9:25 p.m. on Friday, the “multiple” car accident on U.S. Highway 40 took place about a half-mile east of Teutopolis.
A one-mile radius around the crash, including parts of Teutopolis’ northeast, was ordered to be evacuated due to the ammonia leak’s plume, according to authorities.
The message read, “At this time, there are multiple fatalities.” The total number of fatalities was not immediately made public.
Between Teutopolis and Montrose, there is a closed highway. Workers were attempting to stop the leak.
When handling anhydrous ammonia improperly, it can be poisonous and dangerous to one’s health. Anhydrous ammonia can cause everything from lung discomfort to severe respiratory problems, and at higher amounts, it can even be fatal. Additionally corrosive, anhydrous ammonia can burn the skin and eyes.
Springfield, the state capital of Illinois, is located 92 miles (148 kilometers) southeast of Teutopolis.
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