1 dead, 65 hospitalized in Navotas ammonia leak

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 3) — One person died while 65 others were rushed to the hospital following an ammonia leak from an ice plant in Navotas City on Wednesday.

Fire authorities said 22 out of the 65 injured were transported to Tondo Medical Center, while the remaining 43 were brought to Navotas Hospital.

Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco identified the facility as the T.P. Marcelo Ice Plant and Cold Storage and disclosed that it is owned by his mother and her siblings. Authorities are investigating the cause of the leak.

Ang unang ginawa is malikas yung mga tao and number two, masara yung balbula. Susunod na titingnan nila is kung nasira ba yung tubo or human error,” Tiangco said in an interview.

[Translation: The first thing they did was to evacuate the residents, and then second, close the valve. They will next look into whether the valve was broken, or was caused by human error.]

On Wednesday afternoon, residents of North Bay Boulevard South were seen along Road 10 and nearby areas covering their noses due to the foul smell. Ambulances, fire trucks, police personnel, and MMDA enforcers were deployed to the area.

A number of residents fainted, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority reported. The Bureau of Fire Protection said a 44-year-old man died.

Exposure to ammonia, a chemical used in refrigeration systems, can result in irritation, severe respiratory injuries, and could be fatal at high concentrations, according to health experts.

Around 5,000 residents were allowed to return home at around 8 p.m. after the situation was declared under control. Authorities declared the leak was contained past 10 p.m.