Illinois Ammonia Spill Tragedy: 5 Dead, 5 Injured in 4,000-Gallon Catastrophe


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TEUTOPOLIS, Ill. – The Illinois State Police, along with numerous state and federal agencies, have finalized their emergency response to a horrific accident Friday night on U.S. Highway 40. A semi-truck leaked 4,000 gallons of its anhydrous ammonia cargo on Friday evening at 9:25 p.m. leading to the tragic deaths of five individuals and critical injuries to five more.

“IDPH is working with our local health department partner to monitor the situation and provide needed support,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra.  “We remind residents to ventilate their homes upon return. If they detect unusual odors, they should leave immediately and call 911.” IDPH is working to provide guidance on well water testing to check for possible contamination.  Beginning Sunday, residents that had been evacuated were allowed to return home.

The victims of this heartbreaking incident have been identified as:

  • Kenneth Bryan, 34, from Teutopolis, Ill.
  • Rosie Bryan, 7, and Walker Bryan, 10, both from Beecher City, Ill.
  • Vasile Cricovan, 31, from Twinsburg, OH.
  • Danny J. Smith, 67, from New Haven, MO.

All were fatally exposed to the ammonia.

Moreover, five individuals were airlifted due to exposure at the scene:

  • Jacob Bloemker, 24, of Brownstown, Ill.
  • John Costello, 19, of Olathe, KN.
  • Anja Dangelmaier, 18, of Dallas, TX.
  • Sara Tague, 18, of Lake Elmo, MN.
  • Terrie Tudor, 61, of Union, MO.

Emergency response was swift as agencies on all levels banded together. Residents were evacuated, roads closed, and air quality closely monitored.

Effingham County Sheriff, Paul Kuhns, lauded the immediate response of agencies, noting the massive support received. As the community grapples with this calamity, the Illinois EPA is ensuring that contamination from the incident is fully addressed, safeguarding Teutopolis’s future.


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