JEnnifer Gabris, spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said authorities are investigating the incident that occurred near Teutopolis.
Firefighters, police and other emergency teams that converged on the scene on Friday night were still at the scene today trying to contain the cloud of anhydrous ammonia that was coming out of the overturned tanker truck.
“We have many brave firefighters, paramedics, hazardous materials specialists and police officers who are working on scene,” Effingham County Sheriff Paul Kuhns said at a press conference.
Authorities have not said exactly how many people were killed or injured.
“I’m sorry to say we have multiple deaths,” Kuhns said.
Illinois State Police spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said authorities initially thought there were five deaths, but that information was premature.
The crash, which involved multiple vehicles including the tanker truck, happened about a half-mile east of Teutopolis on U.S. Highway 40 on Friday around 9:25 p.m., the Illinois State Police said in a statement. .
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