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Pratt County Evacuations Lifted After Accident

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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UPDATE: Friday, August 17, 2012

A stretch of highway has reopened and evacuations have been lifted after an accident caused a chemical leak in Pratt County.

Emergency crews were called to the scene on Hwy 54 near Cullison around 10 a.m. Friday.

The Pratt County sheriff's department said a truck hauling anhydrous ammonia collided with a semi. The truck carrying the ammonia flipped and the container ended up the middle of the highway.

The pickup truck driver was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for accident-related and inhalation injuries.

Officials closed the highway and evacuated the nearby town after finding a leak on the tank. Crews were concerned the tank could rupture, causing an explosion.

The tank was moved off the highway to a nearby lawn. Authorities reopened the highway, but then were forced to close the road again after attempts to patch the leak failed.

A crane was brought in to remove the tank safely. The road reopened and the evacuations orders were lifted just before 3 p.m.

No other injuries were reported.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Pratt County community has been evacuated after a pickup truck hauling anhydrous ammonia collided with a semi.

The accident happened on Hwy 54 near Cullison. That's about 10 miles west of Pratt.

The Pratt County sheriff's department said a pickup truck was hauling anhydrous ammonia, when it collided with a semi head on. Officials found a leak on the tank, and are working on trying to patch it.

The pickup truck driver suffered critical injuries in the crash. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

KAKE's Deb Farris reports officials managed to get the tank off the highway, but cannot stop the leak. They said there is still cause for concern that the tank may rupture.

A crane has been brought in to remove the tank from the scene.

Hwy 54 remains closed in both directions. Authorities evacuated about a half-mile radius around the accident as a precaution. Authorities expect the highway to be closed down for at least two hours.

The Red Cross said five volunteers responded to the scene of the chemical leak. They are offering services to first responders and displaced families.

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