BOSTON - A massive ammonia leak in the Seaport killed a man Wednesday night.
According to the Boston Fire Department, the leak was reported just before 6 p.m. at Stavis Seafoods Warehouse at 7 Channel St. It was more than three hours before crews were able to stop it.
Fire officials said an employee was trapped in a stairwell near the second floor, overcome by ammonia fumes. They attempted a rescue attempt, but were unsuccessful because of the fumes.
Everyone else who was inside the building is safe and accounted for.
"We were devastated to learn that one of our warehouse employees has died as a result of the ammonia leak at a Stavis Seafoods warehouse. We are not releasing any further information until the employee’s family has been notified," a statement from CEO Richard Stavis said. "We are thankful that four employees who were in the building at the time were able to quickly and safely evacuate."
Fire crews say survivors have been decontaminated.
A BIG LEAK
Officials said it was ammonia was leaked through a valve that should have been easily accessible. However, the fire department said it was hard to get to. Stored in facility was 5,400 gallons of ammonia, but it isn't clear how much of that leaked.
In addition to police and fire investigators, OSHA was on scene hand to review the safety of the workplace.
Fire officials said the building is a large cold storage facility.
WHAT IS AMMONIA
Ammonia is a very commonly used chemical in industry and commerce. At room temperature it is colorless, but has a suffocating odor.
When inhaled, ammonia is irritating and corrosive, burning the nose, throat and respiratory tract. If it gets on the skin or eyes, it is highly irritating and immediate decontamination is important. It can cause burns and blindness.
Police continued to be on scene Thursday morning.
© 2018 Cox Media Group.