Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ammonia leak stirs Dutch Harbor

The 129-member crew of the processing ship Excellence was forced to evacuate after the vessel experienced an ammonia leak Friday while tied up at the Kloosterboer cold storage dock in Dutch Harbor.

Firefighters sprayed water in an effort to suppress vapors. As a community precaution, the Excellence later was towed (top photo) to an offshore mooring buoy in Wide Bay.

Three people needed medical attention for ammonia exposure, with two of those transferred to Anchorage.

A hazmat team from the UniSea processing plant went aboard the vessel today and determined ammonia was still leaking.

Ammonia is a gas used in freezer systems.

The 367-foot Excellence is a mothership that processes Bering Sea pollock deliveries from catcher boats.

Photos are courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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