A truck driver was in the burn unit in Springfield in critical condition Thursday night just hours after an anhydrous ammonia tank exploded near rural Edelstein. A truck was traveling northbound on Route 40 pulling a trailer, carrying two containers of the chemical. A state trooper saw one container fall off the trailer, causing an explosion. The blast sent the tank several feet into the air, leaving behind a cloud of gas, before falling into a farm field. A second tank fell over and began leaking gas. Residents in nearby homes were evacuated since the farm chemical can cause burns to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. The trooper and another witness were able to pull the truck driver to safety. The driver remains in the Springfield burn unit while the state trooper was treated and released.
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