EDELSTEIN, Ill. -- A pickup driver injured after a tank of anhydrous ammonia explodes in Northern Peoria County, has been transferred to the Springfield burn unit. His condition is unknown.
The tank that exploded was one of two tanks being transported behind a pickup truck shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday. The second tank did not explode.
An Illinois State trooper was parked in a lot nearby and witnessed the explosion. He said the truck was heading north of Route 40 when one of the tanks started to wobble. The tank fell on its side and exploded. Most of the tank was thrown approximately 100 yards into a field.
The trooper ran to the truck and pulled the driver from the cab. He was conscious.
The driver was taken by ambulance to OSF St. Francis Medical Center. Police said his injuries are considered life-threatening. The trooper was also taken to the hospital to be decontaminated. His injuries are not life-threatening.
Multiple fire departments responded to the call. Police are asking motorists and residents to avoid the area. The intersection is expected to be shut down for several hours as crews work to upright the second tank and clear the scene.
Police will also do an accident reconstruction. It is unclear what caused the tank to tip and explode but the truck did end up facing the opposite direction.