Mechanical failure may be cause of gas leak at Jackson Co. plant - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Mechanical failure may be cause of gas leak at Jackson Co. plant

Posted: Updated:
  • Most ReadMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Lamar Co. man sentenced in federal court on drug charges

    Lamar Co. man sentenced in federal court on drug charges

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:31 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:31:27 GMT
    A Lamar County man has been sentenced to nearly 8 years in federal prison on drug charges. Tommy Lucas, 48, was sentenced to 95 months by U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett Thursday morning. LuacsMore >>
    A Lamar County man has been sentenced to nearly 8 years in federal prison on drug charges. Tommy Lucas, 48, was sentenced to 95 months by U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett Thursday morningMore >>
  • City of Hattiesburg employee fails to register as sex offender

    City of Hattiesburg employee fails to register as sex offender

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:04:34 GMT
    A City of Hattiesburg employee is behind bars for failing to register as a sex offender. Public Works employee Martaze Denzel Hammond, 35, was arrested Wednesday by the Forrest County Sheriff's DepartmentMore >>
    A City of Hattiesburg employee is behind bars for failing to register as a sex offender. Public Works employee Martaze Denzel Hammond, 35, was arrested Wednesday by the Forrest County Sheriff's Department after exceeding a 90 day period in which to register as a sex offender.More >>
  • Four arrested after attempted correctional facility drug crime

    Four arrested after attempted correctional facility drug crime

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:21:06 GMT
    Four suspects were arrested Thursday during an attempt to commit a crime at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution. According to prison officials, officers responded to a fence alarm around 5 a.m.,More >>
    Four suspects were arrested Thursday during an attempt to commit a crime at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution. According to prison officials, officers responded to a fence alarm around 5 a.m., July 31, 2014, at the SMCI campus located in Leakesville, MS where officers found two packages. K9 personnel picked up a trail of the suspects which lead towards Wildcat Corner, located at the corner of High School Road and Hwy. 57 near Leakesville.More >>
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A gas leak at a Jackson County plant Friday morning is being blamed on a mechanical failure. A pipe at Airgas Specialties started leaking Anhydrous Ammonia around 8:45 AM. Fortunately, no one was injured. It took county firefighters and environmental crews about an hour to contain the small leak.

Deputies blocked off a section of Saracena Road as emergency vehicles rushed to a gas leak at Airgas Specialties in the Helena Industrial Complex.

"We reported to the scene to find an actual plume, quickly dissipated. We just stayed to keep the plume down," said Escatawpa Fire Chief Donnie Lowery.

That plume originated from liquid Anhydrous Ammonia leaking from a transfer line that linked a 30,000 gallon tank to a rail car. Environmental officials say large amounts of the chemical can be corrosive if you inhale or touch it. They suspect a relief valve on the pipe malfunctioned.

"We believe it was due to a mechanical failure because the pressure in the system, whenever it builds up too high, it'll release. But the pressure on the gauge did not indicate that the pressure was high enough for release," said Daniel Stuart, MDEQ Emergency Response Manager.

Escatawpa firefighters and six units from neighboring fire departments doused the leak with water and the plant manager shut off the valve. MDEQ said the plant manager was the only employee on the property when the leak happened.

"The county and the fire here locally, as well as the plant, did a fantastic job getting this under control in a hurry. As you know, it can be a hazardous, especially with such a volatile gas," said Stuart.

Within an hour, the leak was contained. Emergency crews left the property feeling relieved that there were no injuries, no evacuations, and no danger to the community. MDEQ is working with Airgas Specialties to continue its investigation of the leak and determine exactly how much gas actually escaped.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.