The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Batangas is investigating an ammonia leak from an ice plant located in the town of Lian.
Environment Officer Gani Amatorio said employees of the Pantoja Ice Plant in Barangay Kapito were performing a maintenance activity on Wednesday morning, February 3, when they accidentally hit a valve that caused the leak.
“Habang kino-contain ‘yung ammonia binugahan nila ng tubig as a measure para hindi makaapekto. Nang binugahan ng tubig, kumalat ang amoy,” Amatorio said.
(While they were containing the ammonia, they doused water as a counter measure. When they did this, the odor spread.)
The plant is located near a residential area but Amatorio said no one was gravely affected among the residents and employees.
“Dumerecho ang tubig sa creek tapos doon nagkaroon ng epekto, namatay mga isda (The water went straight to a creek, then it had an effect, the fish died),” he added
The extent of the fish kill has yet to be determined.
Ammonia is a colorless, pungent gas commonly used as a refrigerant for food preservation. It is considered a high health hazard because exposure to the gas may cause irritation to the respiratory system, eyes and skin.
Amatorio said the owner of the ice plant is ready to face the liabilities and will be called to attend a technical conference in the coming days.
The incident happened on the same day that an ice plant in Navotas had an ammonia leak. The Navotas incident left two employees dead and caused nearly a hundred people to be hospitalized. – Rappler.com