Small Anhydrous Ammonia Leak, 7477 CR 200W… 6-19-2013

A small anhydrous ammonia leak was quickly contained on Wednesday morning, after being discovered by a Frankton FD captain during his drive to work.

Early on the morning of June 19th, FVFD Captain Scott Matson noticed what appeared to be a leaking anhydrous ammonia tank while on his way to work. He stopped to verify the situation, then contacted Madison County Dispatch, who notified Station 30 at 6:31 a.m. Engine 32 arrived at 6:42 a.m., with Tanker 33 arriving shortly afterwards with additional crew. The situation was quickly assessed and Asst. Chief Josh Hendrick was able to secure the leak, which was coming from a partially open valve. The leak was stopped at 6:48 a.m. and all FVFD crews were back in service at 7:07 a.m.

Anhydrous ammonia, which is commonly used as fertilizer to adjust the nitrogen content of soil, presents several dangers when uncontrolled. Stored under high pressure as a liquid, it is extremely cold (with a boiling point of -28 degrees) and converts to vapor when released. It can cause chemical burns and frostbite to exposed skin, and is an inhalation hazard, so use of full protective gear is important when working around it.

Anhydrous tank, leaking from valve

Anhydrous ammonia tank, leaking from valve

Cpt. Matson stretching a hose line for use in decon

Cpt. Matson stretches a hose line for use in decontamination

Asst. Chief Hendrick secures the leaky valve

Asst. Chief Hendrick secures the leaky valve

Anhydrous is also very very cold when stored... note the frost build-up on the valve!

Anhydrous is also very very cold when stored… note the frost build-up on the valve!

Anhydrous ammonia can cause chemical burns, so decontamination with water is important!

Anhydrous ammonia can cause chemical burns, so decontamination with water is important!

Lt. DeLong takes care to rinse off all exposed gear

Lt. DeLong takes care to rinse off all exposed gear.

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