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Associated Press, Published October 20 2010

Morris ammonia leak leads to evacuations

MORRIS, Minn. – A farming accident caused up to 600 gallons of anhydrous ammonia to be spilled here Monday night, prompting authorities to evacuate a portion of the community.

According to Morris Police Chief Jim Beauregard, a farmer reported about 10 p.m. that while he was applying anhydrous to a field just north of Morris a hose broke and the chemical spilled. The spill resulted in a plume of gas that was slowly traveling east.

Beauregard noted there was no wind to disperse the ammonia cloud, so authorities closed roads and evacuated approximately 250 people from homes and businesses in the northeast section of town.

Beauregard said that buses took many residents to a shelter set up in the Regional Fitness Center on the University of Minnesota, Morris campus.

Beauregard said it took about three hours for the plume to disperse so residents could return home.

No injuries were reported as a result of the spill or the evacuation.

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