USA: A worker died at a massive ammonia leak from a refrigeration system in a Boston seafood processing warehouse yesterday evening.
Reports say the male worker was found in a stairwell at the Stavis Seafood plant in Channel Street, in the Seaport district of South Boston, after firefighters responded to an emergency call at 5.55pm local time.
Around 5,300lb (2,400kg) of ammonia was released before the main valve was shut off by the Boston Fire Department Hazmat response team at around 9.20pm.
It was reported that there were about five or six people in the facility at the time of the leak, which occurred at the end of a shift.
Boston Police closed several roads in the area, told local business workers to stay inside and asked pedestrians and motorists to avoid the scene.
The worker has not yet been named and an investigation behind what caused the leak is being conducted by fire investigators, Boston police and the Suffolk District Attorney’s office.
Established in 1929, Stavis Seafoods has been previously cited for safety violations involving the ammonia refrigeration system at the Channel Street plant. In 2009, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed over $47,000 for 15 alleged serious violations of safety and health standards at the plant. The 15 violations were later reduced to six, and the penalty was dropped to $15,750.