On Tuesday, a transport truck carrying anhydrous ammonia from Jones Trucking Service in Stewardson, Ill., was responsible for releasing 19 tons of anhydrous ammonia, says Shelby County (IL) Emergency Management Agency.
The agency released a statement on April 6 on its Facebook page:
"Stewardson (Ill.) – At approximately 5:30 am on Tuesday April, 5th 2016 a transport truck carrying anhydrous ammonia, from Jones Trucking Service in Stewardson, IL, was offloading approximately twenty and a half tons of the product into a storage container owned by Effingham Equity. A malfunction occurred resulting in the release of approximately nineteen tons of anhydrous ammonia being released from the truck. All indications are that this incident was purely accidental and no foul play is suspected.
"Approximately 200 residents were evacuated from the affected area of the community. Responders from local fire departments and law enforcement agencies went door to door of the affected area to check on the welfare of anyone that may have not been evacuated. Residents were relocated to a number of shelters that opened up and the Village of Stewardson would like to thank those that opened their doors to the affected residents. A number of individuals were transported to an area hospital where they were treated for respiratory issues due to being exposed to the vapor. Residents were given the “all clear” to return to their homes at approximately 8:30 am. Anyone that is experiencing symptoms of exposure are encouraged to seek medical attention to be evaluated.
According to local radio station 979 XFM, "One person drove their vehicle into the anhydrous cloud, thinking it was fog, and was taken to HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham for examination."