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Janesville hazmat team responds to ammonia leak

Published On: Nov 24 2013 11:07:01 AM CST   Updated On: Nov 24 2013 12:41:56 PM CST file photo

BELOIT, Wis. -

Hazardous material and fire crews responded to a potential ammonia leak at a Beloit business Saturday, according to a release.

The Janesville Fire Department, city of Beloit Fire Department and the Rock County Haz Mat Team responded to Fairbanks Morse Engine at 701 White Ave. in Beloit, a manufacturing company, for an ammonia alarm that had activated inside the business, officials said.

An employee told crews the alarm activated while he was near an ammonia cylinder, and he saw the electronic meter that is associated with the tank read 20 percent and started to increase. He then exited the building.

Officials said the building was evacuated when they arrived, no injuries were reported and no one was exposed to the ammonia.

The employee near the ammonia cylinder at the time the alarm went off said he did not smell any ammonia and an exhaust fan was activated in the room when he left the building.

Haz Mat crews in full gear and self-contained breathing apparatus gained access to the exhaust fan vent and determined no ammonia was coming up through the vent, according to the release. Crews entered the building and found no reading of ammonia on their meter.

A technician reported finding a leak in a tank hose that directed ammonia into a piece of production equipment, officials said. The technician said the meter had to be placed within 1.5 inches from the hose to detect the leak.

After the tank was turned off the ammonia meter did not register any further readings, and the scene was turned over to Fairbanks Morse Engine staff, according to the release. About 15 pounds of compressed ammonia gas were released during the leak.

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