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#1 User is offline   Eric 

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:28 PM

Ammonia Leak Closes Rio Linda Neighborhood


Area was cleared and residents were told to stay in their homes around a Rio Linda meat packing plant Thursday evening following an ammonia leak, according to Sacramento Metro fire officials.

Firefighters called a Level 2 hazmat situation and cleared residents near the Stafford Meat Company at 1545 Q Street around 7 p.m. Thursday after employees reported an ammonia leak, Sacramento Metro Fire assistant chief Greg Mugartegui said.

Workers at the plant called the fire department after about 50 gallons of anhydrous ammonia leaked and pooled inside the facility.

The corrosive chemical is used at the plant for refrigeration purposes and can be an irritant to both skin and lungs. "It is a very toxic substance," Mugartegui said.

While the leak was quickly capped, residents within 1,000 feet of the plant were asked to remain in their homes as a precaution while fire crews in hazmat suits assessed the clean-up.

No one was reported injured in the incident. Air monitors also registered no signficant readings in the air around the plant.

"Residents don't need to be concerned," Murgartegui said. "We have the situation under control."

Crews cleared the scene and deemed the area safe around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

The leak wasn't the first time neighbors have had trouble with the plant. Last March, county workers were called to the scene after dirty water used to clean the plant began leaking into nearby Dry Creek.

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