In the early morning of April 25, 2019, a farm tractor carrying two containers of the dangerous chemical anhydrous ammonia experienced a catastrophic failure, leaking a toxic chemical cloud that hospitalized more than three dozen people, including first responders and police officers. Wexler Wallace is currently investigating injury claims resulting from the Beach Park chemical spill.
Anhydrous (“without water”) ammonia is a powerful concentrated chemical most often used by farmers as an inexpensive crop fertilizer. The chemical turns into a gas when it comes into contact with air or soil and is incredibly dangerous when mishandled according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When anhydrous ammonia is released from its container, it expands rapidly to form low-hanging clouds that are heavier than air. Because of the way it spreads and persists at ground-level, people and animals are at a greater exposure risk than with other gasses.
The risks of anhydrous ammonia exposure can be severe and life-threatening, even from brief exposure. Symptoms include:
- Burns, blisters, and frostbite
- Chest pain and difficulty breathing
- Pulmonary edema
- Persistent respiratory issues such as coughing, sore throat, and mucus production
- Unconsciousness or death in cases of extreme exposure
As a result of the Beach Park chemical spill near the intersection of Green Bay Road and 29th street, 37 people were hospitalized including 11 firefighters and three police officers. Seven were listed in critical condition at the time of the incident. Residents within a one-mile radius were ordered to shelter in place, and keep all windows and doors closed for several hours. The Lake County Sheriff’s office and the National Transportation Safety Board are still looking into the cause of the chemical spill.
Wexler Wallace is experienced in handling environmental contamination and injury cases across the country, including the massive PFAS water contamination crisis in Michigan and toxic lead paint exposure in Wisconsin. If you or a loved one suffered injury or illness as a result of the Beach Park chemical spill and would like to speak with an attorney regarding your potential claim, contact us today using the form on this page.