Anhydrous leak gets multi-agency response

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KANSAS – An anhydrous leak at the Kansas Nutrien Ag Solutions facility briefly closed state Route 16 late Friday morning, April 5.

Kansas Police Chief Jeff Goodwin said the leak apparently occurred while a nurse tank was being moved on the grounds of the business. He responded to the location as did the Kansas Volunteer Fire Protection District and the Kansas Ambulance. Also responding was Edgar County Sheriff Jeff Wood.

“Nutrien requested a haz-mat response from the Paris Fire Department,” said Goodwin.

The chief emphasized no injuries occurred during the incident and the highway was quickly reopened when it was determined the leak posed no danger to motorists.

Paris Fire Chief Brian Gates said it is not clear exactly what caused the tank to start leaking. The nurse tank was attached to a farm implement that was being pulled by a tractor.

Because of the wind direction, the tractor driver was unable to reach the tank and close the valve.

Gates said emergency responders from the different agencies conferred with Nutrien’s on-site management and it was mutally decided the safest approach was letting the partially filled tank vent until it was empty.

“They told us it takes 45 minutes for a full tank to bleed off and this was not a full tank,” said Gates.

Most of the anhydrous cloud remained on Nutrien’s property and just edged off a little bit into an adjacent farm field. No residences were threatened.

Gates said after the tank finished venting, firefighters entered the area using regular turnout gear and AirPacs to close the valve on the tank, shut off the tractor’s engine and open the doors of a Nutrien building to let the structure air out.