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Five people killed, residents evacuated for hours as crews contain Ammonia from truck crash

Fire Protection District truck blocks Main Street in Teutopolis, Ill. on Saturday, Sept. 30, to prevent traffic from entering the area still contaminated by the anhydrous ammonia that leaked as a result of the previous night's vehicle accident.

EFFINGHAM COUNTY – Five people are dead and another 500 were asked to evacuate after a leak of toxic chemicals caused by a crash on Friday night.

Late Saturday night, officials began allowing residents to return home while investigations into the spill continue.

According to fire officials, a multi-vehicle accident caused a tanker carrying anhydrous ammonia to roll over a few miles east of the town of Teutopolis, releasing a plume of the toxic chemical into the air.

State Representative Adam Neimerg (R-Dieterich) lives just south of Teutopolis and says he wants the Illinois Department of Transportation to implement changes to help keep drivers alert.

“I’ll be looking for IDOT for some accountability here some measures to make sure that this does not happen again. And I will follow up and make sure that that is done because this loss of life should not have happened,” said Neimerg. 

Officials from the state and federal Environmental Protection Agencies and Departments of Transportation are still investigating the crash and contamination.

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Owen Henderson

Owen Henderson

Owen Henderson covers arts and entertainment and LGBTQ issues for Illinois Newsroom. He’s a recent graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has worked with Illinois Public Media in various capacities since 2021.

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