DANGEROUS ANHYDROUS AMMONIA CLOUD
Lake County Sheriff’s deputies and Beach Park firefighter/paramedics responded about 4:57 AM Thursday April 25, 2019 to a report of a vehicle fire with an anhydrous ammonia leak at Green Bay Road and 29th Street Beach Park, Il. Police and firefighter/paramedics received a report of a vehicle fire involving an Anhydrous Ammonia spill, which created a dangerous chemical cloud in the area of Green Bay Road and 29th Street. Fire command is advising the community to stay inside and keep windows closed in a 1-mile radius from the intersection of Green Bay Road and 29th Street.
UPDATE: Initial investigation indicates there was no crash and no vehicle fire as initially reported, but at least one tank of anhydrous ammonia was leaking.
Three hours after the incident occurred, firefighter/paramedics were responding to calls in the immediate neighborhood to evaluate patients complaining of symptoms.
BREAKING- NOT A DRILL: Beach Park residents warned to stay indoors with windows closed after a hazardous materials spill at Green Bay Road and 29th St. created a dangerous chemical cloud. https://abc7.ws/2DyhOwC
Posted by ABC 7 Chicago on Thursday, April 25, 2019
Video from ABC 7 Chicago’s Helicopter shows a large green farm tractor carrying two white tanks at the shoulder, and a small SUV on the opposite side of Green Bay Road in a ditch. The farm tractor was southbound on Green Bay Road and is stopped just north of Clarendon.
A clear colorless gas with a strong odor. Shipped as a liquid under its own vapor pressure. Density (liquid) 6 lb / gal. Contact with the unconfined liquid can cause frostbite. Gas generally regarded as nonflammable but does burn within certain vapor concentration limits and with strong ignition. Fire hazard increases in the presence of oil or other combustible materials. Although gas is lighter than air, vapors from a leak initially hug the ground. Prolonged exposure of containers to fire or heat may cause violent rupturing and rocketing. Long-term inhalation of low concentrations of the vapors or short-term inhalation of high concentrations has adverse health effects. Used as a fertilizer, as a refrigerant, and in the manufacture of other chemicals.
Firefighting: Wear positive pressure breathing apparatus and full protective clothing.
Small fires: dry chemical or carbon dioxide. Large fires: water spray, fog or foam. Apply water gently to the surface. Do not get water inside container. Move container from fire area if you can do it without risk. Stay away from ends of tanks. Cool containers that are exposed to flames with water from the side until well after fire is out. Isolate area until gas has dispersed.
Non-Fire Response: Fully encapsulating, vapor-protective clothing should be worn for spills and leaks with no fire. Do not touch or walk through spilled material. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. If possible, turn leaking containers so that gas escapes rather than liquid. Prevent entry into waterways, sewers, basements or confined areas. Do not direct water at spill or source of leak. Use water spray to reduce vapors or divert vapor cloud drift. Avoid allowing water runoff to contact spilled material. Isolate area until gas has dispersed.
Initial report, not confirmed by officials, is that a farm tractor/trailer transporting an anhydrous ammonia tank or tanks crashed with an SUV. There was a vehicle fire that has been extinguished, but one or more anhydrous ammonia tank(s) are leaking. Firefighters are spraying a mist over the anhydrous ammonia leak to prevent and/or inhibit dispersal into the air.
The initial dispatch for this call was about 4:25 a.m. with a vehicle fire and two people lying in the street that can’t breath. Fire dispatch received multiple calls that smoke near the scene was making them light-headed.
Firefighters on the scene wearing Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus reported at about 4:35 a.m. that there was an ammonia smell and that it was very difficult to breath.
At 4:36 a.m. firefighters confirmed three patients down on the ground on Green Bay Road just north of Major Avenue.
At about 4:39 a.m. firefighters confirmed there was a plume in the air.
As of 5:30 a.m. two patients were transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center. According to the NWS office at Waukegan Regional Airport, wind is forecast to hold at 2 mph from the southwest until about 9:00 a.m. when wind is forecast to shift from the southeast. Wind is forecast to shift from the east and increase to about 9 MPH with gusts to 14-15 MPH by noon.
At 4:57 a.m. Beach Park Activated MABAS Division 4 Box Alarm on Box #12-40 for a hazardous material box and 12-99 for Life Safety Box (2nd Alarm).
Wind at 4:55 a.m. CDT was CALM at Waukegan Regional Airport. Fire Dispatch at 4:34 a.m. reported the wind was from the southeast at 6 MPH.
At 6:20 a.m., the Life Safety Box for ambulances only was elevated to a 3rd Alarm
At 6:32 a.m., The Hazmat alarm was elevated to a 2nd Alarm and the Life Safety Box for ambulances only was elevated to a 4th Alarm.
At 7:23 a.m. Beach Park command requested an Interdivisional Box Alarm for additional ambulances as 5th alarm ambulances were already utilized for the incident. Six additional ambulances assigned from MABAS Division 3 (Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Nothbrook, and Evanston.
UPDATE: This appears to be an Anhydrous Ammonia spill, which created a dangerous chemical cloud in the area of Green Bay…
School Closed Thursday, April 25th!
Due to a chemical spill in the local area, All Zion District #6 schools will be closed today, April 25th, for the safety or our students and staff. We apologize for any inconvenience that may have on your family. #ZionD6
— Zion District 6 (@ZionDistrict6) April 25, 2019
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