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Investigators say open valves on fertilizer tanks led to Illinois ammonia leak

Investigators say open valves on fertilizer tanks led to Illinois ammonia leak Photo: KSTP

June 11, 2019 11:18 AM

Federal investigators say open valves on farm fertilizer tanks apparently led to a serious ammonia leak that injured 41 people in Illinois in April.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on the anhydrous ammonia spill in Beach Park, Illinois, near the Wisconsin border.

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The NTSB says a hazardous-materials team from Lake Forest, Illinois, found some valves were fully open on a pair of 1,000-gallon tanks, which were being pulled by a tractor. The ammonia release stopped when a valve was closed. Investigators plan to examine the valves at a laboratory in Washington.

The NTSB says the loaded tanks were picked up at a farm cooperative in Kansasville, Wisconsin, about 30 miles from the accident scene.
    

Anhydrous ammonia is a colorless gas used as an agricultural fertilizer that produces pungent, suffocating fumes when released.
 

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Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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