EFFINGHAM, Ill. – An unforeseen disaster unfolded in Effingham County Friday, as a semi-truck carrying anhydrous ammonia crashed near Teutopolis, releasing a hazardous cloud of the toxic gas. The immediate aftermath was chaotic, and by Saturday, the grim news was confirmed by the Effingham County Coroner: five lives lost.
The victims tragically included two children and an adult, all from the same local Illinois family. The devastation didn’t stop there; an individual from Missouri and a semi-truck driver from Ohio, who was just passing through, also perished in the incident.
The late-night catastrophe led to urgent evacuation orders, leaving residents in shock and displacement. As U.S. Highway 40 remains sealed off, emergency operations continue in full force. The community has come together, with places like St. Anthony Grade School in Effingham offering refuge to those uprooted.
The Illinois State Police, who are at the forefront of the investigation, have called for community solidarity and caution. With hazmat teams on the ground and several agencies joining hands, efforts are ongoing to ensure the safety and support of the affected residents.