HomeLatest NewsNTSB Investigating Fatal Illinois Semitruck Crash With Ammonia Leak Evacuation

NTSB Investigating Fatal Illinois Semitruck Crash With Ammonia Leak Evacuation

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An overturned semitruck carrying anhydrous ammonia in Illinois caused a multi-vehicle crash with “multiple fatalities,” according to Illinois State Police. The accident occurred on U.S. Highway 40 near Teutopolis and resulted in the truck leaking the toxic substance. As a precautionary measure, residents within a one-mile radius of the crash were partially evacuated due to the dangerous air conditions created by the leak. Effingham County Sheriff Paul Kuhns stated that the ammonia leak caused a “large plume” and emergency responders had to wait to access the crash site due to the hazardous air conditions. The National Transportation Safety Board announced its plans to investigate the crash in coordination with local authorities.

Inhalation of anhydrous ammonia can be fatal at high concentrations, while exposure can also cause severe burns to the skin and eyes, as well as respiratory injuries. The exact number of fatalities was not disclosed, but Teutopolis fire chief Tim McMahon confirmed that five people were airlifted and one person transported by ground to hospitals. At the time of the news conference, it remained unclear why they were transported or their current condition. Cleanup efforts were underway to contain the leak while the highway between Teutopolis and Montrose remained closed. The investigation into the crash will involve the National Transportation Safety Board, Illinois State Police, and the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department.

Teutopolis is a small town with a population of just over 1,600 people, located approximately 92 miles southeast of Illinois’ capital, Springfield.

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