SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Four employees were evacuated from the Ice House distribution center in West Shreveport Tuesday afternoon after a routine inspection by the Shreveport Fire Department found high levels of anhydrous ammonia inside the facility.
According to SFD spokesman Clarence Reece, four employees were evacuated from the building on Monkhouse Drive after a suspected leak of the noxious gas was discovered just before 3 p.m.
The colorless gas is used as an agricultural fertilizer and an industrial refrigerant. Exposure to even small amounts of the colorless gas can cause serious burning of the eyes, nose, and throat. Exposure to higher levels can cause serious injury and death swelling of the throat or from chemical burns to the lungs.
The Louisiana State Police were called to the scene, as well as the Department of Environmental Quality. The valve has since been shut off so that repairs can be made.
State police say Monkhouse Drive will be shut down for an extended period of time and alternate routes should be used until repairs and cleanup are complete.
The DEQ will continue to monitor air quality in the building.