July 23, 2012 at 8:35 AM
Chemical leak at Darigold plant snarls South Seattle commute
UPDATE, 4:10 p.m. | The Seattle Fire Department estimates the cleanup of an ammonia leak at the Darigold plant on Rainier Avenue South will continue until 9 p.m. tonight. Firefighters are still pouring water on a frozen and broken ammonia pipe as it continues releasing dangerous levels of ammonia, according to a fire department release. As of this afternoon, ammonia levels at the evacuation perimeters are considered safe, the department said.
An ammonia leak at the Darigold milk processing plant on Rainier Avenue South has caused the evacuation of the building and has snarled traffic in the area.
A Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said that at 7:35 a.m. workers inside the plant at 4058 Rainier Ave. S. “reported a large boom and saw a large cloud. They immediately evacuated.”
“We shut off a two block perimeter, evacuated a strip mall and a daycare center,” Moore said.
When haz-mat crews went inside the plant they had trouble seeing because of a dense fume cloud, Moore said. Just before 9:30 a.m., haz-mat crews found that the plant is still contaminated by ammonia fumes.
Moore said that they’re trying to ventilate the facility. Haz-mat crews aren’t sure when workers will be able to return inside.
Metro is asking that passengers who use routes 7 and 9 to use bus stops south of South Alaska Street or north of South McClellan Street.
This post will be updated when new information is available.
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