A semitruck hauling anhydrous ammonia overturned Friday night in Illinois, triggering the evacuation of local residents. Five fatalities were attributed to the collision, according to police.
The accident occurred less than a mile east of Teutopolis, near the intersection of Route 40, according to WCIA-TV. An earlier collision took place at approximately 4:50 p.m. on the eastbound lanes of I-70, east of Effingham. Traffic was subsequently rerouted onto U.S. Highway 40, where the overturn occurred around 9:25 p.m.
As a precautionary measure due to the chemical release, individuals within a one-mile radius of the U.S. Highway 40 crash site were promptly evacuated and provided with shelter, according to the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.
Five people lost their lives in the incident, while others were transported for emergency medical treatment with injuries of unknown severity, Effingham County Coroner Kim Rhodes told the outlet.
A hazardous materials unit was deployed to the scene, although specific details about the accident were unavailable, as per the outlet. Efforts by emergency responders and personnel actively to mitigate the ammonia leak are reportedly underway. (RELATED: Freight Train Smashes Into SUV And Kills 6 People Who Were All Relatives, Authorities Say)
Multiple agencies are collaborating with the Effingham County Coroner’s office to address the incident, per the outlet. The Illinois State Police will reportedly take charge investigating the accident.