An ammonia leak at a seafood company in China’s commercial hub of Shanghai has killed at least 15 people, state media reports.
At least 26 others were taken ill Saturday after ammonia spilled at a refrigeration unit owned by Shanghai Weng Pai Cold Storage Industrial Co in the city’s northern district of Baoshan.
The leak was apparently caused by a detached pipe cap that triggered the hazardous liquid to spill, according to investigations.
More than 200 firefighters were deployed to the scene to disperse the liquid ammonia and its fumes using water.
Environmental monitoring vehicles were also sent to assess the impact of the leak, but no pollution was detected as of Sunday, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a statement from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.
Liquid ammonia used in refrigeration can destroy lung tissue, cause chemical burns on the skin, and even lead to death, according to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Shanghai Weng is engaged in the import and export, storage, processing and sales of seafood products.
Its cold storage unit has the capacity to freeze 150 tons of products a day, according to its website.
By: Maesie Bertumen
image: Magic Ketchup/Flickr