Ammonia leak in Navotas ice plant kills 1; 59 hospitalized

An ammonia leak in an ice plant in Navotas City killed one employee while 60 were brought to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

The family of Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco owns the cold storage facility, authorities confirmed.

A 47-year-old male employee at T.P. Marcelo Ice Plant and Cold Storage, where the ammonia leak came from died. He was brought to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival, according to Vonne Villanueva, the incident ground commander.

Meanwhile, around 60 others were brought to the Navotas City Hospital and Tondo General Hospital, of which 6 were reportedly minors, according to Tiangco.

Authorities said seven were being treated while two would need to be admitted to the hospital.

According to reports, an ammonia tank inside the ice plant exploded on Wednesday afternoon. Authorities said they had a hard time entering the premises due to the chemical’s strong odor.

They also had difficulties in controlling the odor because it was windy. However, the ammonia leakage has been controlled.

Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco said the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office informed him that the odor has subsided.

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Ammonia leak in Navotas ice plant kills 1; 59 hospitalized

“Sa ngayon po ay nasarado na ang valve na nag-leak at hinihintay na lamang nating humupa ang amoy ng ammonia. Tinatayang aabot ng 2 hanggang 3 oras bago po humupa ang amoy sa lugar,” the mayor said in a statement.

(We have closed the valve where the leak originated, and we are just waiting for the scent of the ammonia to subside further. It is estimated that it will subside further after 2-3 hours.)

Affected residents were given packs through the City Social Welfare and Development Office. First-aid stations will also remain in the area, the mayor added.

Tiangco earlier ordered residents to evacuate the area because of the ammonia leak. He also advised the public to avoid North Boulevard and R-10 Road.

Liquid ammonia is used as a refrigerant for making purified tube ice.