Ammonia leak obstructs Turlock traffic; no injury

01/27/2013 2:15 PM

01/27/2013 10:21 PM

A warehouse ammonia leak shut down traffic on two streets and kept neighbors inside Sunday morning, but emergency workers in spacesuit-type gear quickly fixed the problem and no one was hurt.

An employee of an adjacent business reported a vapor cloud about 6:20 above Americold, which provides cold storage. The Turlock Fire Department used a

reverse-911 automated message to alert about 100 neighbors, asking them to close windows and stay inside while police diverted traffic from parts of D and Fifth streets.

Responding Americold employees shut a valve feeding ammonia to a leaking pipe, resolving much of the problem. Members of a countywide hazardous materials unit entered with breathing apparatus to make sure the leak was secured and an ammonia sensor showed no trace on protective suits when they emerged later.

"It was a fairly minor leak as far as leaks go, but significant enough to call out haz-mat," said Turlock Fire Battalion Chief Bill Becker.

The scene was cleared at 10:47 a.m., Becker said.

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