Ammonia leak at Napoleon cold storage facility, 3 hospitalized - WNEM TV 5

Ammonia leak at Napoleon cold storage facility, 3 employees hospitalized

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NAPOLEON, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A roof collapse at Cloverleaf Cold Storage in Napoleon on Thursday caused an ammonia leak, an evacuation, and a handful of hospitalizations.

Napoleon Police say the roof of the facility collapsed just before 1 p.m. Thursday. 

Ammonia lines feed into cooling units inside the building used to store meat and poultry. Police say the lines cut loose, sending a cloud of ammonia out of the building and 300 feet into the air.

After about 40 minutes, the leak was contained. A water main break has also been repaired.

Henry County Emergency Management officials say 11 employees were treated and evaluated at the scene for ammonia exposure. Three were transported to a nearby hospital, but have since been treated and released.

Police believe the collapse was weather-related, since rain and snow were piling up on the roof. The collapse caused piping with ammonia to break, sending a chemical cloud into the area.

"I looked down at my quality guy and I seen the roof just miss him as it come down. There was another girl that had to dive through the cooler area. I caught her hard had and knocked it off, but she made it in alright. And then I turned around and ran to the other side of the dock and out the door," said employee Terry Bartles, who was inside the building when the roof collapsed.

The Henry County Humane Society dismissed employees for the day and left animals inside. The animals were OK.

Neighboring fire and police departments, along with the Henry County Sheriff's Office and Henry County EMA, assisted at the scene.

A couple of surrounding drives closed: Interstate, Independence and Industrial. Officials expect roads to be closed until it is safe to reopen. People are urged to avoid the area if possible.

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Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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