Alabama Town Residents Evacuated : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Alabama Town Residents Evacuated DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) -- Ammonia gas leaked from a fertilizer plant on Tuesday and forced the evacuation of more than 400 people.

No serious injuries were reported but 33 people were taken to hospitals for treatment of minor respiratory problems.

The leak from an 18,000-gallon tank at the Tri-State Plant Food facility was reported about 3:30 a.m.

The leak appeared to have been caused by the mechanical failure of a valve, said police Capt. Jim Smith. The problem was brought under control shortly before 8 a.m., clearing the way for residents to return home, including some elderly people evacuated by ambulance.

While diluted ammonia solutions are used for household cleaning, concentrated ammonia can cause suffocation and death.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 11, 2000

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