Crews respond to an ammonia leak in south Wichita

WICHITA - Emergency crews spent much of the day Saturday cleaning up a hazmat spill at a Farmland Food plant in south Wichita.

Workers discovered ammonia leaking at the food processing plant just before 3 p.m. Saturday.

Tammy Snow, Deputy Fire Chief with the Wichita Fire Department says employees tried to stop the leak themselves.

“At that time they attempted to turn the ammonium off, they had become overcome because all they have is respirators, they don’t actually have air tanks,” said Snow.

An employee of the plant called 911 and notified them of the leak.

All 101 employees self evacuated the building and were outside by the time city and county hazmat crews, as well as Wichita fire crews arrived.

Two employees suffered minor inhalation from the ammonia chemical, they refused to be taken to the hospital.

Snow says another employee suffered more substantial injuries.

“There was one that had what we call critical inhalation, ammonia inhalation and they’ve been transported to the hospital,” said Snow

Hazmat crews were able to stop the leak that originated in the building’s attic.

The smell of ammonia did linger in the air but Snow assures that there is not enough of the chemical in the air to be harmful to anyone.

The Centers for Disease Control says inhaling or ingesting ammonia can cause be harmful.

Symptoms include eye and skin irritations to chest pain and fluid in the lungs.

 

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