37 people hospitalized after Chicago-area leak

BEACH PARK, Ill. (AP) – Authorities say 37 people have been hospitalized due to an ammonia leak in a Chicago suburb.

Lake County Sheriff’s spokesman Christopher Covelli says three law enforcement officers are among those taken to hospitals after the leak in Beach Park early Thursday, and that they are in good condition.

Covelli says several other people are in serious but stable condition. Authorities say most of those injured suffered breathing problems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says anhydrous ammonia is a colorless gas that can cause breathing difficulties, burns, blisters and is fatal if inhaled in high concentrations.

Residents within a 1-mile radius of the leak were initially told to close their windows and remain indoors, but that order was lifted a few hours later. Schools in the area are closed.

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