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December 20, 2022: Ammonia Leak Kills One and Injures Another

An ammonia leak at Home Market Foods in Norwood, MA has left one person dead and another in the hospital. Norwood Police and Fire received a 911 call reporting the accident around 11 am on Monday. When they arrived on scene, the ammonia levels were so high they were unable to enter the building. A hazmat team was called in at that point.
The toxic gas is considered deadly at 300 parts per million. The readings the Norwood Fire Department took upon arrival were over 6,000 parts per million.
He said “It was very dangerous. We had to pull our people back, they tried to get to the victim that was left in there for quite a while, and we had to get the concentrations down.”
According to the DA, a preliminary investigation has shown that the two victims were HVAC contractors who were working at the plant when an ammonia pipe was severed. Fire Chief Hayes said “They were doing nothing associated with the ammonia system. It was just an accident.” The deceased victim was identified as 68-year-old Richard J. Arguin. The name of the other victim was not released.
When he was asked if an action caused the leak. He said “yes, yes, there were things going on, we think we know what it was, but I’m not at liberty to talk about that right now.”
He went on to say “we do know where the leak is coming from, this is a hugely complex ammonia system for refrigerating all these meatballs and chicken wings and things they make here. The ammonia is the refrigerant for these giant freezers they have, so it’s pretty common. It’s a 21,000 pound tank that was leaking, we have no idea how much leaked. There’s no valves, basically all electronics in the area stopped working very quickly so we didn’t have any of the controls.”

Man Dead After ‘Horrific’ Ammonia Incident in Norwood; Second Worker Hospitalized

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