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4,000 Evacuated From Homes in Tijuana Ammonia Gas Leak

January 14, 1986

TIJUANA — About 4,000 residents of the Colonia Libertad area were evacuated from their homes late Monday after a leak of ammonia gas at a neighborhood ice factory, police said.

Sixteen people were hospitalized and treated for slight intoxication from the gas, a spokesman for Tijuana police said. All were expected to recover, the spokesman said.

The leak occurred at 7:15 p.m. at the Cristal ice factory on 9th Street, the spokesman said. A valve controlling the flow of gas apparently broke, allowing the ammonia gas to escape from a holding tank, he said. The gas is used as a coolant in manufacturing ice. A team from the fire department was able to repair the valve.

More than 100 city and state police officers responded to the emergency, temporarily closing off streets in the neighborhood, police said. Residents were allowed to retun to their homes after about half an hour.

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