Firefighters walk near the site of the ammonia leak at a cold storage unit in Baoshan district of Shanghai yesterday.
BEIJING: An ammonia leak from a cold storage unit at a food company in China’s commercial hub of Shanghai killed 15 people yesterday and sickened dozens, the city government said.
The leak sickened 26 people, who had been sent to hospital, with six in critical condition, the Shanghai government said in a statement.
The accident occurred shortly before noon in the northern district of Baoshan due to a leaking pipe linked to a refrigeration unit owned by a seafood company, media reports said.
More than 200 firefighters were deployed to the scene, using water to disperse the liquid ammonia and its fumes.
The government did not say whether the company’s workers or people living in the urban area nearby were affected.
Liquid ammonia used in refrigeration can destroy lung tissue, potentially resulting in death, and cause chemical burns on the skin, according to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration.