City of Red Wing

Red Wing Firefighter/Paramedics Respond to an Anhydrous Ammonia Leak

Monday, November 8 2010 12:00 AM

For Immediate Release                                                          Contact: Chief Tom Schneider

11/8/2010                                                                              Red Wing Fire Department



Red Wing Firefighter/Paramedics Respond to an Anhydrous Ammonia Leak


November 8th, Red Wing, Minn.) - On November 8th at 03:10, the Red Wing Fire Department received a call reporting an anhydrous ammonia leak on County 18 at Brink Road.

Firefighter/paramedics were on scene within 10 minutes of receiving the call and were able to control the leak within 30 minutes.

A tow behind dual anhydrous implement tank was found 50 yards off of County 18 blvd. in an open field.  A small plume of leaking anhydrous was visible from the highway.

After contacting the Minnesota State Duty Officer, firefighter/paramedics advanced on the tank with a charged hose line keeping the anhydrous plume away from firefighters. All valves on the tank were closed and the leak was secured.  The anhydrous was found to be leaking out of a 1 inch hose that had been cut.

The implement is owned by River Country Coop; the property owner who leased the implement was not known at this time.

The fire department responded with 1 engine, a support vehicle and 6 full time firefighters.  Fire crews were assisted by area law enforcement with traffic concerns.  Crews remained on scene for an hour and a half.

Anhydrous Ammonia is used by farmers as a fertilizer.  It can be a significant health hazard if inhaled.  Fire fighters used full turnout gear with SCBA's and were not exposed to the ammonia.

The leaking tank was in an open area far from neighboring farm buildings so evacuation was not necessary.  County Road 18 was closed for the duration of the event.

"Red Wing fire fighters receive training in hazardous materials.  Because of this training and the resources available (State Duty Officer) this event was secured with limited danger to fire crews and the public" said Fire Captain Scott Danielson

The mission of the Red Wing Fire Department is to enhance the safety and security of the community by providing cost effective protection of life and property, through fire prevention, public education, fire suppression and emergency medical care.