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Worker dead after large ammonia leak in seafood warehouse

A hazmat team in protective suits prepare to enter the building. Scott Eisen for The Boston Globe

A man died Wednesday night after a large ammonia leak in a seafood warehouse in Boston’s Seaport District, according to the Boston Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to a call about a possible ammonia leak at the Stavis Seafoods Warehouse Wednesday evening, the fire department’s chief operations officer, John Walsh, said during a press conference. Five to six workers were in the building at the time of the leak, and one of them died from the fumes, Walsh said.

Firefighters tried to rescue the worker from a second floor stairwell in the building but were pushed back by the product during their initial attempt. According to Walsh, the department then declared the leak a level 3 hazmat situation, requiring firefighters to enter the building in “fully encapsulated suits on air.”

The body was then removed from the building, and the city’s homicide unit, as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is investigating the cause of the leak, Police Commissioner William Evans said. Foul play is not suspected. The victim’s identity was not released Wednesday night.

Firefighters were unable to enter the area where the ammonia shut off is until 9:20 p.m.

Evans said the city had issued street closures in the Summer Street area due to a strong wind carrying some of the fumes.

Ammonia is used at the facility for the transportation of fish, according to Walsh. He said there was about 5,400 pounds of ammonia in the tank that connects to the building’s pipeline.

The fire department tweeted about the incident.

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https://twitter.com/BostonFire/status/712812767648940032

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