Ammonia spill cleared, Port of Miami reopens

Ammonia spill cleared, Port of Miami reopens

The Port of Miami, Florida's largest container port, was shut down Friday morning for a little over an hour because of an ammonia spill in a cold storage area.

The port ceased operating around 7:55 a.m. after the spill was reported. It resumed normal operations shortly after 9 a.m., said Trenae Floyd, a port spokeswoman. Five workers were treated and released at the scene. Information about which cold storage area experienced the leak or what the workers were treated for was not available.

Shortly after the spill, a large vapor cloud could be seen over the area. Ammonia, used as a cleaner and in fertilizers and manufacturing, is corrosive and can cause burns when touched or when vapors are inhaled. It is generally not considered to be a danger to explode or ignite unless the gas is highly concentrated.

Approximately 40 shipping lines serve the port from more than 100 countries and 250 ports. It handled 980,000 TEUs in fiscal 2002, ended Sept. 30. It is on pace to break the 1 million-TEU barrier this year, handling nearly 530,000 TEUs in the six months of fiscal 2003.