4 Feb 2004

American Samoan workers evacuated after ammonia leak

3:39 pm on 4 February 2004

An ammonia leak has forced the evacuation of about a thousand Star Kist Samoa employees this afternoon.

Production at the tuna cannery was halted for about half an hour due to the strong ammonia odor.

Star Kist general manager Phil Thirkel says the leak was from a Samoa Packing valve next door to Star Kist.

Since the Star Kist plant is downwind from Samoa Packing, the odor was very strong and all Star Kist employees had to be evacuated.

Traffic on the main road was brought to a halt until the leak was detected and repaired.

Only a fraction of the Samoa Packing workforce was evacuated.