Belle police chief in hospital after meth exposure

BELLE, Mo. (AP) — A central Missouri police chief is hospitalized after inhaling a toxic vapor used to make methamphetamine.

Chief Michael Dixon Jr., of the Maries County town of Belle, was injured after stopping a vehicle Thursday near the city park. The chief says he picked up an object that someone threw from the car. It turned out to be a container of anhydrous ammonia, the dangerous gas used in making meth.

KRCG-TV reports that Dixon was taken to Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla and remained there Friday. The chief said in an email that doctors are trying to reduce his risk of permanent lung damage and prevent other complications.

A 39-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman were arrested at the scene. They’ve been charged with several counts, including possession of anhydrous ammonia in an unapproved container.

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