PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS — An ammonia leak at the Prospect Park skating rink sent nine firefighters and one other person to the hospital for minor inhalation problems Wednesday night, the FDNY said.
Fire officials responded to the scene around 9:15 p.m., according to an FDNY spokesman, but could not find the cause of the leak.
After an investigation, firefighters left the scene just after 10 p.m., the FDNY said. The 10 victims were taken to Methodist Hospital, officials said.
Other emergency personnel were also on hand and residents said the leak spread a strong smell throughout the neighborhood and park.
The leak came from the LeFrak Center at Lakeside rink, located just inside the Lincoln Road entrance to the park in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, police sources said.
According to witnesses and residents, the pungent smell of ammonia wafted through the area around 8:30 p.m., hitting commuters and late-night joggers with what felt like “tear gas,” said Twitter user Lorna Perez.
More than one local described the burning sensation the leak caused:
Strange gas leak in prospect park by Parkside avenue. Tear inducing gas.i couldn't breathe— Taylor (@subtleriver) October 22, 2015
Others described the large response from hazmat crews:
Ammonia is typically used in a liquid form in the refrigeration systems at ice rinks, but turns into a “corrosive, toxic gas” if it is released into the air, according to a Canadian government safety bulletin on the subject.
Though the park was closed Wednesday night, according to locals, the Prospect Park Alliance said Thursday that the park was "open and operational" following the leak.