Hazmat crews gear up to go inside Millard where there was an ammonia leak
RICHLAND, Miss. - We received word around 3:00 this afternoon the ammonia leak is now contained but residents here in Richland still need to use caution outside.
"We're just telling everybody to stay inside as right no evacuations as far as homes and residential areas," warns Captain Todd Sanford with the Richland Fire Department.
Since 10:00 Monday morning crews have battled an ammonia leak at Millard Refrigeration Services in Richland.
"Right now we have two teams in we have a team hazmat and rip team inside and they're checking to make sure they have it cut off and they're trying to find out just where the leaked occurred," says Sanford. With the link contained, clean up begins which could last throughout Monday night and into Tuesday morning. "We're trying to figure out where the leak was to repair that and then at that time, once we do that the cleaning process will begin," says Sanford.
Officials say hazmat teams found the leak in the west side of the building in a mechanical station. We're told the leak was possibly a motor failure or a valve. Ammonia is a gas, you can smell it but not really see it.
"They have to make sure they don't come in contact with the chemical at all because it will burn your skin and burn your esophagus and your eyes," says Sanford.
Millard sits on Industrial Drive where 18-wheeler delivery trucks run in and out everyday, but with the plant shut down and worries of the ammonia spreading to the outside police have roads blocked off slowing down deliveries
"We dropped two in and I got one of them back out and I'm trying to get the other one out too, but they're not letting me in to get it," says Wayne Dobbins. He is a trucker for AMP Trucking he says his next delivery is inside Millard. "We've had loads to come down here and we can't get them unloaded, it's just something that happens, no ill feelings are anything like that," says Dobbins.