Ammonia spill closes part of road

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
A cloud of anhydrous ammonia covers part of Webster County Road D20 Tuesday afternoon after a pickup truck pulling an ammonia tank overturned around 2 p.m. The driver of the truck was OK. HAZMAT crews were on scene for several hours cleaning up the spill.

A blown tire caused a large spill of anhydrous ammonia just east of Fort Dodge on Tuesday afternoon.

According to Webster County Sheriff Luke Fleener, a driver in a NEW Cooperative pickup truck was heading east on Webster County Road D-20 while pulling a 3,000-gallon double-axle trailer with an anhydrous ammonia tank on it. A tire blew on the trailer, causing the driver to lose control and roll the tank in the middle of the road. The accident happened right around 2 p.m. near the intersection of D20 and Racine Avenue.

The tank landed on its side and the pickup ended up in the ditch, but the driver was able to escape without injury.

The crash caused damage to the tank’s pressure release valve, causing a major leak. The Fort Dodge Fire Department and the Region V Hazmat team was called into the scene, where they worked to contain the liquid onto the road to pump into another tank, Fleener said.

FDFD Chief Steve Hergenreter said Mid-Iowa Towing was able to bring a wrecker in to upright the tank to stop the remainder of the spill. Crews were on scene for nearly three hours cleaning up the spill, Hergenreter said.

-Submitted photo
An anhydrous ammonia tank overturned on Webster County Road D20 on Tuesday afternoon, spilling hundreds of gallons of ammonia. The Region V Hazmat team was on scene for nearly four hours containing and cleaning the spill.

A large white cloud could be seen hovering on the scene. Hergenreter said it was “a lot of luck” that the driver was uninjured in the crash and was able to escape the cloud of ammonia.

Fleener shared the same thoughts.

“We were fortunate that this one was a small tank and there were no residences nearby,” Fleener said.

Also assisting on the scene were the Fort Dodge Police Department, Vincent Fire Department, Webster County Emergency Management, Webster County Roads Department and city of Fort Dodge Roads Department.

-Submitted photo
Members of the Region V Hazmat team walk toward an overturned anhydrous ammonia tank on Webster County Road D20 on Tuesday afternoon.


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