Injured in Beach Park?
Call (612) 337-6126
Not many lawyers are experienced with anhydrous ammonia. Elliot Olsen is one of the few who can call it an area of expertise. If you know someone who was injured in this Beach Park anhydrous ammonia spill, please have them call Elliot at (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.
From CBS 2, Chicago: At least 37 people were hospitalized and several north suburban schools closed after an anhydrous ammonia spill in Beach Park, about 50 miles north of Chicago. People who live within a mile of the incident were told to stay inside, although that “shelter-in-place” order was lifted after about 5 hours.
At least seven of the 37 people taken to hospitals were in critical condition.Two sheriff’s deputies and one Zion police officer who responded to the spill were among those taken to the hospital. Their conditions were stabilized.
Beach Park is a village in the Benton and Waukegan townships of Lake County. The population was 13,638 at the 2010 census.
Around 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning, the Lake County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call about a possible vehicle fire at Green Bay Road and 29th Street. When two deputies arrived, they discovered anhydrous ammonia leaking from at least one of two 2-ton tanks being hauled by a tractor.
The deputies were overcome by anhydrous ammonia fumes, and they were forced to back away from the scene, Lake County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Covelli said. Firefighters initiated a hazardous materials response to contain the spill, pouring water on the ammonia to dilute the chemical.
Covelli said firefighters wearing protective gear rescued several people who were on the ground near the leak.
911 calls until 9 a.m.
Covelli said that, using the village’s reverse 911 system, Beach Park officials notified anyone living within a 1-mile radius of the spill to stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed, and turn off any air conditioning or ventilation systems.
At least 25 ambulances were on the scene of the spill, shuttling victims to the hospital. Authorities were still receiving 911 calls as of 9 a.m.
“This is a very dangerous chemical that can cause unconsciousness, and – worst-case scenario – death,” Covelli said.
People who inhale even small amounts of anhydrous ammonia – which is most commonly used as a soil fertilizer – will experience burning of the eyes, nose, and throat. Inhaling higher doses will cause coughing or choking.
Lastly, exposure to high levels of anhydrous ammonia can cause death from a swollen throat or from chemical burns to the lungs.
Third spill in April
This is the third anhydrous ammonia spill in Illinois this year – and all three have occurred this month. The first spill happened April 10 in Easton; the second was Wednesday afternoon in Farina.
Since 2013, there have been an average of 12 spills per year in Illinois.
Nearby resident Sylvia Cruz said she was driving with her three children this morning when police stopped her and told her to turn around because of the spill. She said she started feeling dizzy and having trouble breathing, so she called for an ambulance.
“My son was also very scared, and started shaking. He said his stomach was hurting, so I’d just rather be safe than sorry,” Cruz said. “That was very scary, especially fear for the life of my kids.”
They were released from Vista Medical Center before noon.
“The boys and the baby are doing just fine. We all got checked, our vitals,” Cruz said. “My oxygen’s a little low, so they gave me a little bit of oxygen. Other than that, we’re doing just fine.”
Several nearby schools closed for the day, including all schools in Beach Park School District 3, all schools in Zion Elementary School District 6, Zion-Benton Township High School, and Prairie Trail School.
Covelli said that police and fire crews planned to make door-to-door checks of homes near the spill.
“This is a silent gas, so to speak,” he said. “People can inhale this and not know, and become quickly unconscious. So we’re checking on their well-being.”
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by anhydrous ammonia. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: