The State Fire Marshal has determined that ammonia levels in the plant are still too high to enter.

An ammonia leak in Norwood killed one man and sent another to the hospital Monday morning. Norwood Fire Department

Firefighters and workers are still unable to enter a Norwood food processing facility a day after an ammonia leak took the life of one contractor and put another in a hospital.

According to the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, the State Fire Marshal has determined that the ammonia levels in the building are still high.

The building on Morgan Drive, which belongs to Home Market Foods, remains closed as Hazmat technicians work to isolate the leak, a spokesperson said.

On Monday morning, 68-year-old Dighton resident Richard Arguin, one of two outside contractors, lost his life as a result of the leak.

The other worker was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton before being transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital for specialized treatment.

The DA’s Office said that worker was alert Tuesday and able to be interviewed by State Police, and that the information he provided further indicated that no foul play was involved in the incident.

Home Market Foods provided Boston.com with a statement on the incident Tuesday:

“There was an accident at our Norwood plant yesterday involving two HVAC contractors. As they were working, it appears an ammonia pipe was severed. One of the contractors was able to escape with injuries. Tragically the second contractor did not make it out and he died. Our hearts go out to his family. It is just so sad and horrific. 

The Norwood Fire Department, emergency services and police quickly responded, and evacuated the site.  We are thankful to them and are doing all we can to support them.  A determination about when we can return will be made in conjunction with the fire department after comprehensive testing, as our utmost priority is to ensure the health and safety of our employees.”

The cause of the leak, which was deemed a second-tier Haz-Mat incident, still hasn’t been identified, but the Fire Marshal’s Office, state, and local police are investigating the incident.


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