Investigation underway into deadly accident involving anhydrous ammonia leak in southern Illinois

Residents in a rural southern Illinois town have been cleared to return home following a traffic accident that resulted in a large anhydrous ammonia leak Friday evening.

The multi-vehicle collision on Route 40 near Teutopolis overturned a semi-truck carrying 7500 gallons of anhydrous ammonia. Around 500 people in the area were evacuated due to dangerous air conditions until the tanker was drained, patched and moved to a secure location.

So far, five confirmed deaths and several injuries have been reported linked to the accident and anhydrous ammonia exposure.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has indicated they are working with the Illinois Department of Agriculture regarding animals and livestock that were in the area and the procedures for transporting them for evaluation.

The Illinois State Police and The National Transportation Safety Board continue to investigate the cause of the accident.

Officials from the state and federal Environmental Protection Agencies, Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security, local law enforcement, fire and emergency management agencies assisted with cleanup and evacuation.

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