Walsh Townspeople Evacuated Due to Toxic Spill

Thirty-five to 40 homes in Walsh were evacuated between 8 and 9am this morning, February 8, due to a leaking 1,000 gallon tank carrying anhydrous ammonia.

Riley Frazee, Colorado Department of Emergency Management Public Information Officer, said the leak occurred when an axle on a trailer towing the irrigation tank broke, tipping the tank at a 45 degree angle, rupturing several seals. Frazee said the accident occurred south of Walsh and at the time, winds estimated at 8mph were blowing south to north, carrying the noxious vapors into the Baca County community.

Frazee said crews went from door to door notifying residents of the problem, and the town’s Code Red notification system was also put in use. He said the evacuees are currently staying with friends and relatives or at the Vilas school until they can return to their homes. Water is being poured over the tank, which is still leaking at this time. Frazee said that action will help cool the liquid and help prevent it from becoming gaseous. Several haz-mat teams responded including one from Prowers County, one from the CSP and another is en route from Pueblo to help contain the spill and either repair the broken valves or transfer the liquid into another container. No injuries have been reported from the incident.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: AgriculturecommunityHealthLaw EnforcementPolice ReportsPublic SafetyThe Journal Alert


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