Investigation finds Wisconsin farm involved in chemical leak that sent 37 to hospital near Chicago
Beach Park Illinois residents like Lyle Caldara are contacting lawyers Friday, after a chemical leak surrounded the area Thursday
“To look out my windows it was nothing but pure fog," Caldara said of the leak. "The fog was so thick. Even in your own mind you would never even walked out in it.”
Caldara’s life is in limbo. His trees are black, his plants are dead and white, and he’s worried mowing his grass will spew chemicals in the air.
But he says. he’s lucky he wasn’t one of the 37 hospitalized.
“As of this afternoon there are seven people who remain in intensive care at vista east hospital," Lake County Sheriff spokesperson Sgt. Chris Covelli said. "We’re hoping that they do have a full and complete recovery.”
Federal officials confirmed the Thursday leak came from John Kevek farms in Pleasant Prarie.
The chemical was anhydrous ammonia, which is used as a fertilizer, but is also toxic and corrosive. The owner of the farm said he would not comment.
Neighbors say someone needs to pay for the damage.
“Consider road salt on your car." Caldara said. "It eats your car eventually. What is it going to do in the long run on my gutters or my steel building.”
While the EPA monitors the air, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what went wrong in the truck.
“We will witness the dissembly of some of the parts that we’re going to take as evidence, and ship back to Washington D.C. for further examination,” NTSB spokesperson Tim DePaepe said.
An EPA official says John Kevek Farms is responsible for the cleanup, and they will monitor the air for safety during the removal process.