Residents of Tewksbury neighborhood told to evacuate following ammonia leak

·2 min read

5:40 p.m. Update:

The area was deemed safe at approximately 5:40 p.m. and all residents were told they could return, according the Tewksbury Police Department Facebook.

Original Story Below:

Evacuations are underway in a Tewksbury neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon due to an ongoing situation involving an ammonia leak that has resulted in a large emergency response.

In a Facebook post, Tewksbury police warned, “There is a hazardous condition at 20 Carter Street.”

The leak has been contained but police are asking all residents in the area of the Breakaway Ice Center or “down wind” from the arena to evacuate.

“Safe distance for evacuation would be beyond the Market Basket warehouse. Those north of the location are asked to head west toward Lancaster,” police said.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Anhydrous ammonia is a toxic gas recognizable by its pungent odor. Anhydrous ammonia compressed into a liquid form is commonly used in mechanical refrigeration systems for indoor ice rinks and other facilities. It becomes a gas when released into the ambient air.”

Ammonia is a severe irritant to the eyes, nose, and throat. Exposure can cause headaches, coughing, difficulty breathing, and impaired vision. Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of ammonia can lead to asthma, blindness, and pulmonary edema. Skin contact with liquid ammonia can cause burns, blisters, and frostbite.

Anyone who is unable to evacuate is urged to contact Tewksbury police at 978-851-7373.

There were no additional details immediately available.

UPDATE 5: LEAK IS CONTANDED AT THIS POINT - HAZMAT IS TESTING THE SYSTEMS AT THIS POINT - EAST ST IS OPEN - THOSE STILL...

Posted by Tewksbury Police Department - MA on Tuesday, August 30, 2022

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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