Rep. Niemerg Honors First Responders for Their Help During Ammonia Accident Near Teutopolis

The Teutopolis Fire Protection District being honored for their help during the tragic accident in September involving an ammonia spill along U.S. Highway 40 east of Teutopolis.

The first official act of the new year for State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) was to honor and thank the first responders to the tragic accident involving an anhydrous ammonia tank along U.S. Highway 40 just east of Teutopolis. On Friday night September 29, 2023, an anhydrous ammonia leak in a traffic accident led to five fatalities and eleven injured, with the evacuation of nearly 500 from the east side of the rural community of Teutopolis.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) diverted traffic from Interstate 70 several hours earlier in the day but had not yet resumed normal traffic back to I-70 several hours later. The incident involved multiple vehicles including a tractor-trailer tanker carrying anhydrous ammonia that overturned, leading to a leak of toxic gas and necessitating evacuation of residents within a one-mile radius of the crash site.

The presentation of certificates took place at the Teutopolis Fire Protection District on Tuesday, January 2, 2024. The teams of first responders included:

-Clark County Ambulance Service

-Dieterich Fire Protection District
-Effingham County Sheriff’s Office
-Greenup Area Fire Protection District EMS (Emergency Management Service)
-Jasper County EMS (Emergency Management Service)
-Montrose Fire Protection District
-Teutopolis Fire Protection District
-Teutopolis Police Department

“The quick response and cooperation of all of these first responders who showed great professionalism and teamwork to minimize the tragedy and help save lives,” commented Rep. Adam Niemerg. “I want to say thank you to the emergency personnel who stepped up to coordinate resources and get this emergency under control to prevent any more loss of life. My condolences to the families who have suffered loss and injury from this tragic event.”

The fatalities consisted of an adult and two children from a local family, plus a motorist from Missouri and another from Ohio. The driver of the anhydrous ammonia tanker was among the eleven other people injured and airlifted out for medical treatment. 

According to state police, more traffic than usual was on the roadway at the time of the incident because drivers on Interstate 70 had been diverted around the scene of an earlier crash that took place. Authorities initially evacuated a 2-square-mile area on the east side of town. Two regional hazardous materials teams, 15 emergency response departments and nearly 100 of their crew members responded to the spill.