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Local Farmhand Serious Burned When Anhydrous Ammonia Tank Bursts

nursetankendHolland (NNDC) – A local farmhand was seriously burned in an accident at a farm south of Holland Wednesday morning.

Holland assistant fire chief John Hemmer says the farmhand, whose name has not yet been released, was working with a anhydrous ammonia tank which had more pressure in it than first thought.

Hemmer says the tank was being readied to use when a valve or something came loose on the tank that caused a large amount of gas to burst from the tank. The burst of gas landed directly onto the victim. The man suffered severe burns to the chest and face. The man also inhaled an undetermined amount of the ammonia.

Hemmer says the tank did not explode or rupture. He says, “Something malfunctioned,” says Hemmer. We don’t know if it was a piece of equipment or if it was operator error, but something caused the gas to burst from the tank.”

The man was lifeflighted from a nearby field just off of Holland Road Southwest near where the incident occurred.

Hemmer says he believes the farmhand was transported directly to the burn center at the University of Louisville.

The man’s condition is not known at this time. The accident happened at about 8:45 Wednesday morning.

Anhydrous ammonia is a pungent gas with suffocating fumes that is used as a fertilizer.

Anhydrous ammonia can rapidly cause dehydration and severe burns if it combines with if it combines with water in the body.

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