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110 evacuated in Corcoran when ammonia truck overturns

A truck carrying thousands of gallons of Ammonia overturned in Corcoran on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 forcing the evacuation of 110 people.
A truck carrying thousands of gallons of Ammonia overturned in Corcoran on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 forcing the evacuation of 110 people. Kings County Fire Department

More than 100 people in Corcoran were evacuated Monday after an ammonia truck overturned and started leaking.

Six people were taken to the hospital for minor irritation or difficulty breathing caused by the fumes, Kings County Fire Chief Clay Smith said. Two other people breathed fumes but did not require a trip to the hospital.

The accident happened in the area of Whitley and Otis avenues. The evacuation warning went out about 11:20 a.m. for the area bounded by Chittenden, Hall, Gardner and Hanna avenues and lasted about five hours.

Smith said 110 people left the area and an evacuation center was set up at a veterans hall. A bus transported people out of the Amtrak station that is on the corner of Whitley and Otis.

The Hanford Fire Department hazardous materials team responded to the incident.

By Monday afternoon, the main valve on the ammonia tank had been shut, but a vent tube still was releasing ammonia, Smith said. The vent is designed to stop releasing gas after it reaches a certain pressure, he said.

The overturned ammonia tank holds 4,000 gallons and had a little more than 1,300 gallons left as of 2:45 p.m., Smith said. The ammonia evaporates once exposed to air, and all of what spilled out of the truck was gone by 2:45 p.m.

The roadway near the accident scene was expected to be open again by Monday evening.

Corcoran High School, which is eight blocks west of the accident scene, tweeted that classes continued as normal but advised students not to travel east of Chase Avenue.

Staff writer Rory Appleton contributed to this report. Lewis Griswold: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold

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