SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — A section of Monkhouse Drive in west Shreveport will remain closed indefinitely while hazardous-materials crews clean up an anhydrous ammonia leak outside an ice plant, Louisiana State Police officials say.
The Level II hazardous-materials situation was reported at 2:55 p.m. Tuesday in back of Reddy Ice in the 4500 block of Monkhouse Drive, authorities said.
Shreveport Fire Prevention Officer Cody Berry discovered the leak while doing a routine inspection of the facility.
Two representatives of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality subsequently brought in meters that indicated levels inside the building were elevated and dangerous, Shreveport Fire Department EMS Officer Clarence Reese said.
Four employees were evacuated from the building. None exhibited any sign or symptom of exposure to the chemical, Reese said.
At 4:06 p.m., Fire Department hazardous-materials technicians wearing special gear shut off the valves to prevent further contamination.
“At no time was there a threat to citizens in the area,” Reese said.
DEQ tested the air quality around the building every 20-30 minutes.
As a precaution, traffic in the area was detoured while crews worked to bring the immediate threat under control.
Motorists could detour by using Westwood Park Drive via Greenwood Road to the north or Lyba Street to the south of the impacted area.
The Fire Department had 13 fire units and about 30 firefighters on the scene at the height of the response.
All of those units were placed back in service just after 8 p.m.
Anhydrous ammonia is the compressed liquid or gaseous form of ammonia, meaning it contains no water.
It is used as a cooling agent in the ice-making industry, as a component of fertilizer and is an active ingredient in household and industrial cleaners.