ILLINOIS - Ammonia Leak Causes Injuries, Forces Evacuation : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

[Fair use for education and research purpose only]

Title: Ammonia leak causes injuries, forces evacuation

By Charlie Meyerson and Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah Tribune Staff Writers

March 22, 2000

At least seven people were injured and dozens of workers were evacuated from an industrial park following a leak of anhydrous ammonia at a cold-storage plant on Chicago's South Side this morning.

The leak, which firefighters attributed to a refrigeration system at Stampede Meat Inc., 4551 S. Racine Ave., began around 6 a.m. But firefighters pronounced it "secured" at 7:45 a.m., and by 9 a.m. police had reopened Racine between 43rd and 47th Streets to traffic.

Fire Chief Bill Norris said the leak's victims included four police officers, one firefighter and two civilians -- one a female employee, who was taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, where she was listed in serious condition.

Because the winds were nearly calm -- only about 2 m.p.h. -- the fumes were largely contained to the industrial complex bounded by 43rd, 47th, Halsted Street and Racine. No residential neighborhoods were evacuated and no classes were canceled at area schools.

Norris said the building was owned by La Grou Cold Storage, whose officials refused to comment this morning.

Norris said that firefighters in protective clothing were ventilating the building at midmorning to remove the last hazardous vapors. He said city health inspectors were at the scene "because product could be spoiled from the lack of refrigeration."

Norris said a variety of inspectors from city and state agencies were studying the facility to learn more about the leak's cause and effect.,2669,ART-43802,FF.html


-- (, March 22, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ