31 People Hospitalized After Chemical Leak in Beach Park Illinois

Police car with emergency lights on.

Police car with emergency lights on.

On Thursday morning, after an Illinois tractor which was hauling containers of anhydrous ammonia leaked the chemicals onto a road, sending toxic fumes into the air, 31 people were taken to the hospital. Police released a statement saying they had first seen a cloud of “smoke” around 4:30 a.m. The sheriff’s office also released a series of tweets which warned citizens in the nearby area to stay inside.

Early Thursday morning police officers in Lake County, Illinois, noticed “what appeared to be a cloud of smoke” around 4:30 a.m. A Sergeant and Deputy went to check out what was happening but when they arrived on the scene and “exited their squad cars, they were overcome with an airborne chemical,” [1] said a statement released by the sheriff’s office.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office have said that the 31 people who were taken to the hospital did not have life-threatening injuries and were harboring inhalation issues.

The office released multiple tweets warning residents in the area to stay inside with windows closed. A few hours later, however, they tweeted that the shelter-in-place request had been lifted but authorities would continue door to door checks.

Authorities later managed to narrow down the affected area to a one-mile radius near the intersection of Green Bay Road and 29th Street in Beach Park, roughly 50 miles north of Chicago.

Anhydrous ammonia is a colorless gas with suffocating fumes and can cause difficulty breathing, chest pains, irritation, and burns.

 


Notes:

  1. ^Beach Park Incident http://www.lakecountyil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/28258/4-25-19-Beach-Park-Hazardous-Materials-Incident (go back↩)

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