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Effort underway to recover chemicals from river after truck crash

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MENOMONIE, WI (WSAU) - Divers and Department of Natural Resources officials are trying to recover chemicals from the Red Cedar River after a truck crash. About 600 bags of fertilizer weighing nearly 12 tons ended up on the river bottom when the semi truck crashed over a bridge on slippery Interstate 94 March 5th.

25-year-old driver Batrodin Siyad and his partner, 26-year-old Mohammed Malin of Minnesota drowned in the crash, as the truck plunged through two feet of ice and into about 25 feet of water.

An Eau Claire Leader-Telegram report said the fertilizer contains an herbicide for killing crabgrass.

Divers had recovered about 200 of the bags containing herbicide for crabgrass by the end of Thursday. Department of Natural Resources staff say much of the herbicide is trapped under ice, and could be inaccessible until the ice melts.

So far, there are no reports of dead fish in the Red Cedar River and Lake Menomin, which starts only a few feet downstream of the crash site. Tainter Lake is upstream from the I-94 bridge, and is unaffected by the spill.

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