A recent fatality serves as a reminder of the dangers present at facilities that use, store or transfer anhydrous ammonia.
One truck driver was killed and another was critically injured when ammonia leaked during a loading operation at CF Industries’ Pine Bend Terminal in Rosemount, MN.
The leak immediately killed 31-year-old Robert Shue and critically injured 56-year-old Roy Taylor.
Two law enforcement officers are being credited with saving Taylor’s life by pulling him 35 feet away from the location of the leak.
The ammonia leaked when a connection between a supply tank and a truck failed.
A driver had noticed a problem with the connection and tried to fix it. The connection broke, causing the leak. The leak was quickly cut off, but the ammonia escaped quickly, creating a toxic cloud that proved fatal.
The Pioneer Press reports that CF Industries has had no safety violations at any of its facilities in the last five years.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry named one of CF’s locations a Star work site. The program recognizes companies for putting systems in place to identify and eliminate safety hazards.