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Swift County Sheriff's Deputy Pat Hammerud directs Highway 12 traffic to a detour route west of Murdock on Tuesday. The detour is expected to remain in place for four days.

Highway 12 detour west of Murdock likely to remain in place for four days as clean-up at accident site continues

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MURDOCK — Traffic on U.S. Highway 12 will likely remain detoured west of Murdock for four days as a result of the semi-truck and train collision on Tuesday.

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It is expected to take four days before the contents and the damaged anhydrous ammonia tank at the accident site can be removed. Until then, traffic will remain detoured for safety reasons, according to Bill McGeary, emergency management director for Swift County.

Emergency responders and a hazardous materials team have the situation under control, he noted. Anhydrous ammonia is no longer leaking from the damaged tank, other than an occasional whiff of the gas. On-site crews have been able to place a patch on the tank that sends the escaping anhydrous ammonia into an adjacent tank containing water.

The contact with water turns the anhydrous ammonia into an aqua-ammonia that does not pose the explosion and inhalation risks as does anhydrous ammonia.

But McGeary pointed out that until the anhydrous ammonia and damaged tank can be removed from the site, officials want to protect the safety of the public and the workers by routing traffic away from the area.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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