Tewksbury neighborhood evacuated following ammonia leak at ice arena


TEWKSBURY – People in the area of a Tewksbury ice arena were asked to evacuate Tuesday afternoon following an ammonia leak. The order has since been lifted.

Ambulances and firefighters responded to the Breakaway Ice Center on Carter Street.

Following the leak, Tewksbury Police said anyone nearby or downwind from the facility should evacuate.

Police said fifty people inside the rink were evacuated and one worker, who tried to turn off the emergency valve, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

A hazmat team responded to the scene.

“We originally got the call around 2:30 I believe, not sure the exact time but it was right around 2:30, for a report of some type of explosion. What that was, what we believe it was –was the pressure relief valve release on an ammonia storage tank. When that released, there was now a release of ammonia, with the wind blowing to the north, we made the decision to start evacuating the neighborhoods up to the north end,” said Joe Karns of the Tewksbury Fire Department.

Crews are asking everyone to stay away from the area. 

Ammonia is a dangerous gas that can cause burns to the eyes and throat.



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