Emergency switch failed to close valve
USA: As investigations into Wednesday’s fatal ammonia leak in Boston begin, a local fire official has revealed that an emergency shut-off valve may not have worked.
The incident on Wednesday evening at the Stavis Seafoods plant in South Boston resulted in the death of a worker, now named as facilities manager and father of two Brian Caron of Peabody, Massachusetts.
Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald told the Boston Globe that when five workers at the plant smelled ammonia, they pushed an emergency switch to shut off a valve, then rushed out the door. However, the leak from a ruptured 1½in metal pipe on the second floor of the cold storage warehouse didn’t stop and only four workers made it out alive.
“The valve should have shut off by hitting the switch,” said Steve MacDonald, who also revealed that the emergency response was slowed by the fact that the ammonia shut-off valve was in the middle of the building on the second floor.
Latest news from the world of air conditioning and refrigeration
UK: Industrial refrigeration contractor Stonegrove Refrigeration has appointed Steve Gowing as design and project engineer.
UK: Javac UK, the refrigerant recovery and vacuum pump supplier, has been named as Climate Centers’ Supplier of the Year for the second year running.
UK: Ruskin Air Management has been renamed Swegon Air Management following its acquisition by the Swedish manufacturer Swegon.
SWEDEN: Heat exchanger manufacturer SWEP is to close its manufacturing plant in Tentlingen, Switzerland, moving production to factories in Slovakia and Sweden.
USA: Seven local residents are reported to be suing Honeywell after a chemical leak at its Geismar, Louisiana, plant in August.
BELGIUM: Daikin Europe’s factory in the Czech Republic has joined the group’s factory in Ostend by becoming certified to the BRE’s responsible sourcing standard.
USA: Parker Hannifin and Daikin were the big winners in a unique competition designed to raise the level of awareness of the HVACR industry both in school and government.
DENMARK: Refrigeration wholesaler Beijer Ref has merged two of its Danish companies to form Aircon Teknik A/S.