ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 1, 2012) Dozens of people were rushed to hospital after an ammonia pipe explosion at an ice plant in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga, police said Thursday.
Police said the pipe exploded late Wednesday after being hit by a hard object by a worker in the village of Ayala. The colorless, but hazardous gas quickly spread to the neighborhood and suffocating many people, said Senior Police Officer 2 Rene Ceniza.
We have at least 90 people downed by ammonia and they were rushed to the hospital, he told the Mindanao Examiner, adding the police are still investigating the accident.
Ammonia or azane is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with a characteristic pungent odor. It widely used in industrial refrigeration application because of its high energy efficiency and low cost, but is used less frequently in commercial applications, such as in grocery store freezer cases and refrigerated displays due to its toxicity.
Exposure to very high concentrations of gaseous ammonia can result in lung damage and death. (Mindanao Examiner)