An ammonia leak at a Rhode Island food processing plant sent thirteen people to the hospital Thursday morning.
About 600 workers evacuated the Taylor Farms plant in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, at about 9:30 a.m. when ammonia began leaking from the freezer system, local media reports. Fortunately, high winds quickly dissipated the fumes before any nearby businesses were affected.
None of the injuries are considered serious, Town Manager A. Ralph Mollis told WPRI-TV.
Taylor Farms makes sandwiches served from vending machines.
Ammonia is frequently used commercially in large freezing and refrigeration plants. Exposure to high concentrations in air causes immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract.
This can cause bronchiolar and alveolar edema and airway destruction resulting in respiratory distress or failure.