Ammonia leak in Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre cold room; no one injured

Police and Singapore Civil Defence Force officers at the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre where there was an ammonia gas leak.
Police and Singapore Civil Defence Force officers at the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre where there was an ammonia gas leak.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
Singapore Civil Defence Force officer set up ventilation equipment to disperse ammonia gas.
Singapore Civil Defence Force officer set up ventilation equipment to disperse ammonia gas.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
Ammonia leaked into a cold room at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre.
Ammonia leaked into a cold room at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - Ammonia gas leaked in a cold room at the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre on Thursday (April 28) and Friday. No one was injured.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted at 9.19pm on Friday to an ammonia leakage at one of the units at the fruit, vegetable and dried goods wholesale centre.

On arrival, SCDF officers detected the presence of ammonia in the air and immediately shut off the main valve that supplied the gas to the cold room.

The officers also used ventilation equipment to disperse the ammonia. No one was injured, SCDF said.

Fruit and vegetable seller Mr Hu, 27, told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that two workers already detected a foul smell in the air on Thursday afternoon.

They said that there was a pungent smell and they had difficulty breathing. One worker said the air stung his eyes.

Mr Hu told them to seal the room, and he did an Internet search of their symptoms. From the search, he thought it could be an ammonia leak.

Mr Hu said he normally starts work at 7.30am in the morning till 5 or 6pm in the evening. He called the police after he got off work.

The area around the cold room was cordoned off, and some suppliers faced delays when trying to move their produce, Wanbao said.

Commonly used as a refrigerant, ammonia is a colourless gas that has a strong pungent odour. When inhaled, it can irritate the eyes and throat, cause dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

Breathing in large amounts can result in respiratory distress or failure.