Five Dead in Illinois Accident Involving Anhydrous Ammonia Leak

These anhydrous tanks at a farmers' cooperative in western Iowa are outfitted with slow-moving-vehicle signs so they can transport fertilizer safely down the roads to farmers' fields.

A multi-vehicle accident in rural Effingham County, Illinois, resulted in five fatalities and the release of the toxic chemical anhydrous ammonia. The crash occurred on Route 40 and led to widespread evacuations in the nearby town of Teutopolis. Among the deceased are two children and an adult from a single household, a tractor-trailer driver from Ohio, and a motorist from Missouri.

Emergency services faced challenging conditions, including hazardous air and shifting winds, delaying their containment and rescue operations. Despite these complications, no first responders were injured during the emergency response, which involved roughly 100 personnel from 15 agencies.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has initiated an investigation into the incident. According to authorities, the road will remain closed, and many residents may continue to be displaced until at least Sunday as efforts to contain the toxic gas and clean the area are ongoing.

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