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One man is dead, another injured, after dangerous leak at Massachusetts food processing plant causes hazmat situation



Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Training photo

One man is dead and another injured after a dangerous leak at a Massachusetts food processing plant caused a hazmat situation.

State Police detectives from the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office have joined Norwood Police and Fire personnel, OSHA, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, and the Fire Marshal’s Hazardous Materials Team, in investigating a fatal incident at an industrial property in Norwood.

Norwood Police and Fire received an emergency 911 call shortly after 11 a.m. Monday reporting an ammonia leak causing personal injury at a food processing facility at 140 Morgan Drive.

Preliminary investigation indicates that two men were working for an outside contractor in the vicinity of the ammonia leak when it initiated. Norwood first responders were able to stabilize and transport one man to Good Samaritan Medical Center, and he was then further transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital for specialized treatment. A second man, in his 50s, was declared deceased at the scene.

The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office stated that the event was classified as a Tier 2 Haz-Mat incident, and the Department of Fire Services deployed Haz-Mat teams with specialized personnel, equipment, and apparatus to support local authorities.

While the initial investigation, including review of video surveillance from within the facility, does not provide indications of foul play in the man’s death, the investigation is in its very beginning stages.

The area within the building is still subject to dangerously high concentrations of ammonia and it will take some number of hours before investigators can enter the immediate area, according to officials.

The next-of-kin notification process has begun, but the identity of the decedent is being held until that process is complete which is expected to be completed tonight.

“The information that we have is that this is an incredibly dangerous situation for the fire, Haz-Mat and police personnel responding,” Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said. “We will be proceeding with this investigation as quickly as safety allows.”

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