Altoona ammonia leak causes evacuations

DES MOINES, Iowa - A temperature controlled warehouse in Altoona was forced to evacuate because of an ammonia leak.

First responders went to Iowa Cold Storage in Altoona Thursday night after getting calls about a strange odor.

"The police department got a call last night around 8:30 with a strong smell of ammonia around Adventureland Drive and 1st Avenue area. The fire department and Des Moines hazmat came by and isolated the leak as far as the ammonia and it was coming from Iowa Cold Storage," said Altoona Police Sergeant Alyssa Wilson.

The evacuation extended beyond just Iowa Cold Storage.

"We immediately cordoned off the area, shut down some streets and evacuated businesses," said Lieutenant Doug Richardson with the Altoona Fire Department.

All 14 employees at Iowa Cold Storage are accounted for and no injuries were reported.

Wilson tells WHO Radio News the evacuation has expired.

Numerous agencies, including Polk County Emergency Management and police and fire departments from Bondurant and Mitchellville, responded to the emergency.

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