3pm Update –
Statement from Pacific Seafoods
Repair work earlier this morning caused a temporary ammonia leak. The situation was quickly contained and there are no reported injuries. We’d like to thank first responders for confirming that everything on the waterfront is safe and secure.
Anthony J. Dal Ponte | Deputy General Counsel
Pacific Seafood Group
Chief Murphy says the valve has been repaired. He said a worker was turning a valve shut when it failed. They’re just waiting for the ammonia to dissipate, which could take another two hours. Again, ammonia is highly toxic. If it is breathed in, it can create hydrochloric acid in lungs, throat and mouth.
A reported ammonia leak on the Newport Bayfront has prompted an evacuation order for a four block area with 213 SW Bay Blvd as ground zero. There is a reported ammonia leak at the Pacific Seafood fish processing facility across from Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Hazmat team from Corvallis is reported to be enroute.
Emergency command post is set up in front of the Barge Inn at 358 SW Bay Blvd. Newport Police conducting the evacuation. Emergency responders are instructed to enter from the west on Bay Blvd.
Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy tells News Lincoln County that Bay Boulevard is blocked at SE Forgarty on the east to SW Fall/Canyon Way on the west. Chief Murphy says the Corvallis Hazmat Team should be on scene around 11:30am. They were summoned because they are the nearest hazardous materials team that has advanced equipment to be able to go in and fix, or at least stop, the leak. Ammonia is highly toxic to humans – once breathed in, it turns into hydrochloric acid and damages mouth, throat and lung tissue.
No word on what caused the leak. Ammonia is a component chemical used in refrigeration units.
Chief Murphy says there have been no reported injuries. He added that three deer came walking up the evacuation area and were quickly redirected up the hill and into the brush.
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