Residents near the area of Anaheim St. and Daisy Ave. were told to stay indoors Saturday morning as the Long Beach Fire Department contained an ammonia leak that triggered a Hazmat situation inside a cold storage facility.
Officials say LBFD's Hazardous Materials Team was able to stop the leak and plug drains leading into the Los Angeles River. No evacuations were necessary.
Discovered just before 5AM when a passerby called to report an odor of ammonia, the spill was found to be coming from inside Long Beach Cold Storage and Logistics at 625. W. Anaheim St., adjacent to the 710 freeway. A four-block perimeter was established, and LBFD made entry to the facility where they shut off the main valves to the ammonia system and contained the liquid ammonia that had leaked.
"[The] leak was discovered coming from a diffuser tank," said Captain Jimmy Arvizu of LBFD. "The team plugged the leak and contained the 100-200 gallons of liquid that had leaked from the tank."
The leak was contained by 8AM and the entire scene was clear of personnel by noon. No injuries were reported and no employees were inside of the facility at the time.
Ammonia is the refridgerant of choice for many large cold-storage facilities and although it is considered toxic, scientific studies say that the chemical's use is relatively safe due to its strong odor which usually allows spills to be detected before they reach toxic levels.
"The Hazardous Materials Team monitored the air with special equipment to ensure public safety," Arvizu said. "The company is working with various City departments to mitigate the clean up."
This the second ammonia leak to be reported recently at a Los Angeles County cold storage facility. On December 29, Los Angeles Fire Department's Hazmat Team responded to and contained a leak in a Downtown Los Angeles facility. No injuries or damages were reported in that incident.