Gas Leak in KY Forces Evac

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 @ 02:06 PM gHale

An anhydrous ammonia gas leak at Providence Ag in Mayfield, KY, is clear now after a fitting ruptured while a crew was filling a tank.

Graves County Emergency Manager Davant Ramage said a crew was filling a tank with anhydrous ammonia when a fitting ruptured. The ruptured fitting caused a leak, spilling a large amount of the gas.

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“Very seldom to they ever have a major thing like this happen at the plant,” he said. “The guys who do this are very careful.”

Police and firefighters responded and the leak ended up quickly contained.

Two people ended up rushed to the hospital after they had trouble breathing. One of the injured, a man, ended up treated and released, while a woman remained in the hospital overnight for observation.

The issue with a chemical leak is not always apparent, but in this case one resident, Charles Parrott, said he immediately knew something was wrong.

“It hit me in the eyes, nose, the mouth, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see for a minute,” he said. Just like that a chemical spill can hit neighbors and they become victims.

While the all clear went out, some of the gas may linger in low lying areas due to it being heavier than air. Firefighters said it should dissipate in a few hours.

Symptoms of breathing in anhydrous ammonia include burning of the eyes, nose, and throat. With higher doses, coughing or choking may occur.

Providence Agriculture is an agricultural service provider in addition to selling seed, crop protection and fertilizer products.