A rural Tekamah man has died after driving through a cloud of anhydrous ammonia near Tekamah.
The Burt County Sheriff’s Office reports 59-year-old Phillip Hennig died at the scene about eight miles north of Tekamah.
The anhydrous ammonia escaped from a broken pipe, according to Magellan Midstream Partners Bruce Heine. Heine says the company noticed something was wrong around 10 o’clock Monday night when the pipeline lost pressure. It carries anhydrous from Oklahoma to Minnesota.
Heine says when anhydrous is released from a pipeline it converts from a liquid to a vapor state, creating a cloud. Heine drove through the cloud.
An area evacuation was ordered. Highway 75 has been closed from Tekamah to Decatur.
Clean up continues in the area. An investigation into what caused the leak is underway.
The Nebraska State Patrol Hazmat team and the Tekamah Fire and Rescue team responded to emergency calls to Burt County. The crews reached Hennig later in the evening after a call was made to 911 stating that a man was down near the leak.