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 October 1, 2023

Truck carrying hazardous chemicals involved in deadly crash causes evacuations

At least five people were killed in a multiple-vehicle accident involving a truck carrying anhydrous ammonia in Teutopolis, Illinois.

The chemicals released in the Friday fire led to the evacuation of residents in the nearby area, according to authorities.

A serious situation

"The tanker carrying the anhydrous ammonia rolled into a ditch after crashing and began leaking the toxic chemical, according to Tim McMahon, chief of the Teutopolis Fire Protection District," the Daily Wire reported.

"As of Saturday morning, the highway remained closed as crews worked to contain the chemical leak. It remained unclear how many people were evacuated in the village of Teutopolis which is home to around 1,500 people," it added.

The fatalities

"Effingham County Coroner Kim Rhodes said the five dead included three from the same family: one adult and two children under 12," the Associated Press reported.

"The other two were adult motorists from out of state, Rhodes said. Additionally, five people were airlifted to hospitals, their conditions unknown," it noted.

The danger

"Anhydrous ammonia is used by farmers to add nitrogen fertilizer to the soil and as a refrigerant in the cooling systems of large buildings such as warehouses and factories," WKBN-TV reported.

"According to the American Chemical Society, it is carried around the United States by pipeline, trucks and trains," it added.

With more than 4,000 gallons of the anhydrous ammonia released into the air, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is concerned over the impact on people and the local area. At least 500 residents were evacuated in the immediate vicinity.

Testing is expected to continue to determine whether the area's air and water are safe for local residents. The cause of the crash has not yet been revealed. The identities of the individuals involved have not yet been released to the public.

The concerning disaster comes after a derailed train in East Palestine, Ohio, led to a massive outcry that the Biden administration was not responding to the issue appropriately. Residents will be watching closely to see whether agencies respond appropriately to address the latest toxic situation in the small-town Illinois area.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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