Toxic Spill Closes Roads, Residents Evacuated
By Bill Hughes
WEST PADUCAH, KY - A truck carrying anhydrous ammonia was involved in an accident at the intersection of Old Cairo Road and Ogden Landing Road Thursday afternoon, causing a leak in the tank, and closing the roads.
According to the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, the investigation revealed that 62-year-old Laverne L. Schulte, of Simpson, IL was traveling westbound on Cairo Road, and was pulling two 1000 gallon agricultural tanks containing anhydrous ammonia that were being delivered to a local farmer in West Paducah.
As Schulte was passing the intersection of Ogden Landing Road, 24-year-old Jason Wingler, of Symsonia was traveling eastbound on Ogden Landing Road. Upon reaching the intersection, Wingler failed to stop at the stop sign and then collided with Schulte’s truck and trailers. The collision caused the tanks to break free of Schulte’s truck and overturn.
One of the tanks received damage to a pressure relief valve which caused the contents of the tank to spill. The Concord Fire Department responded to the scene and requested the assistance of the Paducah area hazardous materials team, HazMat1.
HazMat1 responded and began assessing the situation. Hazardous materials technicians were sent to the spill site and determined that the contents had to be removed from the tank before it could be moved. Residents on the eastern side of the spill within one quarter of a mile had to be evacuated from their homes while the anhydrous ammonia was bled off.
Wingler received minor injuries as a result of the accident and was treated and released from Lourdes Hospital.
Ogden Landing Road was closed at Cold Springs Road until 2:30 a.m. Friday for investigation and cleanup of the crash site.