Chemical spill in Illinois sends more than 30 people to the hospital

(CNN) — A leak in a tractor-trailer carrying hazardous chemicals created a massive chemical spill and has sent 31 people to the hospital, authorities in Beach Park, Illinois, said Thursday morning.

The tractor-trailer contained anhydrous ammonia, which can cause unconsciousness and even death when inhaled, Sgt. Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said. The chemical is commonly used by farmers, officials said.

When that spilled, it created a plume of chemical smoke that entered the air, Covelli said.

So far, 31 people had been transported to hospitals due to inhalation issues, but none are life-threatening, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on its Twitter account. Two deputies who responded to the scene and breathed in the fumes are in serious but stable condition, Covelli said.

The leak has since been contained, said Mike Gallo of the Lake Forest Fire Department. Officials are monitoring the plume and advised anyone within a one-mile radius of the spill to stay inside with their windows closed and keep air conditioning and heaters off.

The spill also caused several schools in Beach Park to close for the day, police said.

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