Tewksbury Ice Rink Evacuation Following Ammonia Leak, Hazmat Team Investigate – NBC Boston

Police urged people near or downwind of a skating rink in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, to evacuate on Tuesday afternoon due to a “dangerous condition” later identified as an ammonia leak.

They later said the leak at the Breakaway Ice Center on Carter Street had been safely contained.

“All were evacuated, no injuries were reported,” police said on Twitter.

A major police, fire and EMS response was at the scene Tuesday afternoon.

According to Tewksbury Fire Chief Joseph Kearns, there was an initial report of an explosion which turned out to be the bursting of a gas tank pressure relief valve.

He said a person tried to stop the leak by pressing the emergency stop button. This person was taken to hospital for ammonia inhalation and is doing well.

There were about 50 people inside the rink at the time, including a group of teenagers playing hockey. Everyone is safe, firefighters said.

The chief said the gas never leaked inside the site, but rather outside, so nearby residents were evacuated.

“I could smell some of the ammonia,” said Don Willis, who was evacuated from his home. He said the situation was stressful.

“I have two golden retrievers and they are my whole life. I have to make sure they are okay,” he explained.

The cause of the leak was not immediately clear. Local firefighters were working with a hazmat team to investigate.

This developing story will be updated when more information becomes available.