Man remains in critical condition after ammonia explosion

By WEEK Producer

December 6, 2013 Updated Dec 7, 2013 at 12:00 AM CDT

EDELSTEIN, Ill -- 50-year-old Anthony Tiemann remains in critical condition in a Rockford hospital burn unit, after a large tank of ammonia he was towing with his truck exploded.

State police say Tiemann was driving a pickup, hauling two tanks of anhydrous ammonia, when he lost control in northern Peoria County, near Edelstein.

One tank flipped over and exploded.

Jean Payne is president of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association. She says the accident shows the need for more outreach programs for farmers.

"Every time there's an accident there was some kind of contributing factor," Payne said. "Speed is probably our biggest concern because these tanks are heavy. When they're full with product and you have a towing vehicle....speed is something that can probably prevent most of these accidents from happening."

Payne says while safety training is required for chemical suppliers -- it's not mandatory for all farmers.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.