Ammonia Leaks Shuts Down I-90 for Hours
Elkton, MN (KROC-AM News) - A stretch of I-90 in Mower County was closed to traffic on Monday because of a pair of anhydrous ammonia leaks.
The Rochester Fire Department’s Hazardous materials team was called to a farm field near Elkton shortly before 6 p.m. to assist in the response to a hose failure on a tandem nurse tank of the fertilizer, which becomes a highly toxic gas when released into the atmosphere. The actual leak was reported about an hour earlier and prompted authorities to close down the freeway in both directions in the area east of Austin and the evacuation of homes within a one mile radius of the accident site.
The Rochester Fire Department was put to work monitoring levels of the gas along a four mile stretch of I-90, along with a Mower County Road and some of the homes that were evacuated as a precaution.
The freeway wasn’t reopened until almost 8:30 p.m., partly because there was another release of anhydrous ammonia from a tank on a farm about a mile from the site of the initial incident that kept a detour in place for an hour after the gas from the first accident had dissipated. No injuries were reported.