Ammonia Leak Brings in HazMat Team

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 @ 01:06 PM gHale


HazMat teams responded to an ammonia leak at the Tyson Foods in New Holland, PA, Monday.

The leak ended up reported to fire officials around 1 a.m. Monday by two security personnel, who smelled the gas, said Larry Martin, Garden Spot Fire Rescue chief.

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A “pretty good vapor cloud” was hovering above the building when fire crews arrived, Martin said. “We immediately held our crews, stabilized the area and called HazMat.”

In a normal environment, night-shift employees would have been in the building early Monday morning.

“Fortunately (Tyson Foods) had been closed and were planning on being closed today,” Martin said.

Ammonia sees use in Tyson’s refrigeration system. HazMat teams controlled the leak by shutting off the supply. The building then ended up ventilated. Weather conditions helped keep the situation from worsening, Martin said.

“The weather held the vapor cloud over the building. The wind direction was good for us, so it didn’t get to residences.”

HazMat and fire crews turned over the issue to Tyson Foods by 5:30 a.m., officials said.