Original title: A truck in the United States overturned and leaked liquid ammonia, killing 5 people and nearby residents were evacuated.
Illinois government officials in the United States said on September 30, local time, that a semi-trailer truck overturned in a traffic accident the night before. Tens of thousands of liters of liquid ammonia contained in the truck leaked, causing at least 5 deaths and 5 serious injuries. , hundreds of nearby residents were evacuated.
According to police sources, at about 9:25 pm local time on September 29, a “multiple vehicle collision” occurred on Highway 40 in Tutopolis Town, Effingham County, including the semi-trailer truck. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said the truck was carrying nearly 29,000 liters of liquid ammonia, of which about 15,000 liters leaked. The local government has evacuated about 500 people within a radius of about 1.6 kilometers around the incident site.
Liquid ammonia, also known as anhydrous ammonia, is a product of pressurizing or cooling ammonia gas and is used to produce fertilizers, etc. This colorless liquid has a strong pungent odor, is corrosive and volatile. Once leaked, it will damage the human respiratory tract, nervous system, etc., and in severe cases can lead to death.
Tutopolis Township Fire Department Chief Tim McMahon said crews repaired some of the cracks in the truck overnight, slowing the leak but not completely stopping it.
Effingham County Medical Examiner Kim Rhodes said that three of the five victims were a family, including an adult and two children under the age of 12; the other two were motorists. The five injured have been airlifted to the hospital, and their condition is currently unknown.
Effingham County Sheriff Paul Coons said at a press conference on September 30 that the area involved in the accident was large and the situation was complex. “Liquid ammonia spread over a large area, and the air conditions in the northeastern part of the town are very dangerous.” Emergency crews were unable to work immediately and had to wait until the situation eased.
McMahon said there was not much wind at the scene, but the wind direction changed three or four times during the night, making rescue more difficult.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the accident.
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