An ammonia leak near a Buckeye, AZ, fertilizer company caused evacuations and road closures Wednesday was the result of an off-site spill of water containing ammonium hydroxide, officials said.
The smell of ammonia ended up reported to authorities at 5:52 a.m. near Fertizona, located near Buckeye.
The Buckeye Valley Fire District and several other agencies determined the source of the smell was likely a small, off-site spill of water containing ammonium hydroxide.
Unknown people not affiliated with Fertizona caused the spill sometime during the night, officials said
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality authorities confirmed the Fertizona plant and ammonia-storage facilities were not responsible for the odor, and all of Fertizona’s ammonia-related systems were functioning properly.
Employees at a nearby concrete company, Quikrete, smelled the chemical Wednesday morning and alerted authorities. About 40 people in the concrete company’s building evacuated, said Cliff Turner, Buckeye Valley Fire District spokesman.
No one was at work yet at Fertizona, Turner said.
Hazardous-materials teams from Buckeye, Surprise, Glendale, Goodyear and Phoenix responded to the call. Twenty-two units were at the scene.
Turner said the ammonia was dispersing and was not fully concentrated in one area.
Ammonia can burn the skin and lungs, but no one in the area had yet reported burns or dizziness, Turner said.
Fertizona is an agricultural fertilizer and crop-protection retailer.