TEUTOPOLIS, Ill. (CBS) -- Five people are dead following a crash in Effingham County, Illinois, involving a semi truck transporting anhydrous ammonia, which led to a leak Friday night.
According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the semi truck was carrying about 7,500 gallons of anhydrous ammonia when it was involved in the multi-vehicle crash. According to estimates, about 4,000 gallons of the anhydrous ammonia have been released, and the leak has been partially patched.
Five fatalities were reported, and six others were hospitalized. The identities of the victims have not been released.
About 500 people were evacuated from the area from Pearle Street in Teutopolis along Route 40 to 2100 North Road, north to I-70, and west to Pearle Street.
"This accident caused a large plume cloud of anhydrous ammonia on the roadway that caused terribly dangerous air conditions and the northeast area of Teutopolis were evacuated because of it," said Sheriff Paul Kuhns.
In addition to the Illinois EPA, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security, Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation, local police and fire, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Transportation Safety Board were responding to the scene.
Route 40 was closed between Effingham and Montrose.
The evacuation order was lifted Saturday evening, and residents were allowed back in their homes.
"I am impressed with the quality and amount of assistance received from the local and state agencies," said Effingham County Sheriff Paul Kuhns.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ammonia in high levels can irritate and burn the skin, mouth, throat, lungs, and eyes. Very high levels can also damage the lungs or cause death.
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