Haz-Mat Crews Secure Ammonia Leak

Monday, March 14, 2016 @ 04:03 PM gHale


An ammonia leak at a former frozen foods plant in Rheems, PA, forced the Haz-Mat crew to secure the building Thursday night.

A residual odor could linger but is not dangerous to residents, said Rheems fire Chief Charles Stanford.

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“We had a huge plume over a large portion of Rheems so you could have a slight odor wafting in and out,” he said.

Fire units got the call to the former Agrifrost site, in the 100 block of West Harrisburg Avenue, to investigate an odor at 7:25 p.m.

Officials quickly discovered a large ammonia leak from the roof of the building and called in the county’s hazardous material team for assistance, Stanford said. The site is also the former Cope’s Corn property.

Officials evacuated the nearby Robinson ball field while residents ended up told to stay inside their homes.

Stanford said two employees inside the building ended up checked by medical personnel and were OK.

He said PA Growers LLC of Maryland just bought the facility and workers had been dismantling the chilling system when the leak occurred.

Stanford said company officials were on-site Thursday night.

The chief said medical personnel checked out several residents who reported not feeling well but said all checked out OK.