Friday, June 18, 2010

Loose Trailer Chemical Spill In Washtenaw County

Chemical Spill In Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County Hazmat crews and the Augusta Fire Department spent Friday morning cleaning up a chemical spill on Willis Road, east of Stony Creek.

Michigan State Police Trooper Josh Reeber said the chemical, anhydrous ammonia, was realeased when a crop service trailer unhitched and rolled over into a field.

It took more than two hours for the crews to get the small chemical spill under control Friday morning.

Reeber said the chemical is not lethal in small quantities, but can be tricky to deal with if inhaled in large amounts.

Reeber said officers dealing with anhydrous ammonia is a concern.

"We've had officers who have died when they opened a trunk and there was a meth lab, and they opened the container. The anhydrous ammonia comes out and just from inhaling it it can attack their lungs and they can die instantly," he said.

Reeber said there was no need to evacuate nearby homes, but because the wind was traveling in a southeast direction residents in a half mile radius were advised of the situation.

Reeber said officials decided that it was a small enough leak that they weren't concerned that it would travel through the air and cause harm.

The Washtenaw County Hazardous Materials Response Team is on the scene of a rollover accident that dumped a reported 1,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia near Willis Road in Augusta Township.

Willis Road is closed between Hitchingham and Stony Creek Road. The truck rolled over west of Pittman Road.

No further details were available at noon.

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