A worker is dead and a neighborhood was ordered to shelter in place after more than 5,000 pounds of ammonia leaked in a Boston seafood warehouse, authorities confirm.
Boston Fire responded just before 6 p.m. to the leak at Stavis Seafoods Warehouse on Channel Street in the city's Seaport District. A Level 3 hazmat situation was declared, and crews could not turn off the valve and stop the flow of ammonia until after 9 p.m.
One employee died during the leak. The cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Police have ordered people in the Seaport District to shelter in place. At Harpoon Brewery, nestled close to Stavis, workers told necn by phone that nobody was allowed to leave.
Some women who were trying to get to the brewery for a special event couldn't get in.
"I'm running the Boston Marathon and we have an MGH team event at Harpoon," said Samantha Syska.
At Legal Harborside and Del Frisco's on Northern Avenue, managers said police told them their valet drivers could be arrested or fined if they retrieved vehicles - they wanted people to stay inside.
Responders were initially unable to enter the area where the ammonia could be shut off. Around 9:20 p.m., Boston Fire announced in a tweet that the main valve had finally been shut down and the leak had stopped.
Before the shutoff, fire officials said about 5,300 pounds of ammonia remained in the building.
Because the situation was classified as Level 3, firefighters were required to use fully encapsulated suits to enter the facility.
In 2009, OSHA fined Stavis for 15 alleged violations at its channel street distribution and processing facility tied to its refrigeration system.
Among other things, the inspection cited improper inspection of equipment, no written respiratory protection plan for employees and that employees did not receive annual emergency response training.