- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WORTHINGTON, Ind. (AP) - The runoff from water used to wash away an anhydrous ammonia spill has killed thousands of fish in a southwestern Indiana creak, state wildlife and environmental officials said Wednesday.

The spill of about 500 gallons of anhydrous ammonia on Tuesday and the water spray left high levels of chemical residue at the scene a day later, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management said. Crews removed soil and dug pits to collect rain and prevent further runoff of contaminated water into Lattas Creek, which is less than 300 feet from the spill site, IDEM said.

A pump was being used to remove the most heavily contaminated water, IDEM said.

“You couldn’t pick a worse spot for an agricultural incident to happen. Basically, it happened almost right over Lattas Creek,” Worthington Fire Chief Kyle Steward told The (Bloomington) Herald-Times.

Firefighters poured about 30,000 gallons of water on the spill Tuesday after a tank of anhydrous ammonia overturned on a swerving truck and rolled onto its valve, releasing the chemical, Steward said.

The state Department of Natural Resources identified about 15 fish species affected by the runoff. The creek flows into the Wedst Fork of the White River, and the current carried dead fish into the river, but the runoff was not killing fish in the river, IDEM said.

The spill occurred about 70 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

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