"Investigators Converge on Site of Alabama Ammonia Leak"

"MOBILE, Alabama -- A release of of toxic anhydrous ammonia from a refrigeration plant in Theodore, Alabama that sent more than 130 people to hospital has drawn investigators from three federal agencies and several state agencies to the scene.

The uncontrolled release of the lethal gas happened Monday at Millard Refrigerated Services, a warehouse and distribution center 15 miles south of Mobile. A white plume of gas rose over the area accompanied by a noxious smell.

Today four people remain hospitalized, with one still in intensive care.

Company managers evacuated 74 employees and residents within a one-mile radius of the facility were forced to take shelter for several hours.

Workers at Millard Refrigerated Services closed a valve and stopped the ammonia leak within 15 minutes, but the company is being criticized for taking 20 minutes to call 911."

Environment News Service had the story August 27, 2010.

Monday, August 30, 2010