Nitrous gas nightmare: Rönnskärsverken's emergency

Emergency services were called out overnight to a gas leak alarm at Rönnskärsverken. "Some people who worked at the plant had to be evacuated," says Ann Lundholm, spokesperson for Rönnskärsverken.

Ann Lundholm, communicator at Rönnskärsverken. Archive image.

Ann Lundholm, communicator at Rönnskärsverken. Archive image.

Foto: Leif Andersson

Skellefteå2023-12-29 12:03

At 23:53 on Thursday evening, SOS received a report of a gas leak in Rönnskärsverken. Emergency services were sent to the scene and the leak was stopped.

– Many units were alerted, but some were able to turn back. I am not able to tell you how many units from the rescue services went to the scene, says Angelika Bergman, an operator at Rescue Center Nord (räddningscentral Nord).

It was a release of some form of nitrous oxide.

– There was a broken pipe that caused a release of nitrous gases, she says.

Rescue crews remained on scene to assist with ventilation. No one was injured in the incident.

– They found the leak and were able to stop it. They were there for about an hour, and they ventilated the space before they left, she says.

The leak occurred in a confined space in the basement, according to Ann Lundholm, spokesperson for Rönnskärsverken.

– It was a broken pipe in one of our plants in the basement. When the pipe broke, there was a release of nitrous gases in a confined space in the basement, she says, and continues:

– That also created water vapor, so there was an internal gas alarm and a fire alarm.

She has no information on the size of the affected area, but because the leak occurred in a confined space, it was quickly dealt with, according to Lundholm.

–The emergency services were able to quickly get the situation under control and ventilate it.

Employees were evacuated according to procedure and no one was injured, she continues.

– Some people who were working in the plant had to be evacuated. They were able to return when the emergency services had completed their work.

Was there a risk of an explosion?

– I have no information on the risk of an explosion.

Is it a dangerous gas?

– All chemical gases must be handled safely, so it is always important to follow the procedures in place. All the procedures worked.

According to Lundholm, a review meeting will be held either today, Friday, or Saturday, as is always done in such cases.

– It is unclear whether it will be today or tomorrow, but an investigation will be held. They will look at the cause and what can be done to prevent it from happening again, and see if there are any additional measures that need to be taken, she says.