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International Space Station partially evacuated after ammonia leak scare

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (PIX11/AP) -- A portion of the International Space Station was evacuated early Wednesday morning after a possible ammonia leak.

Six astronauts from the United States segment of the station left their post around 4 a.m. and fled to the Russian segment. According to one astronaut, an alarm went off indicting a possible toxic leak.

The crew followed emergency procedures during the evacuation. They slapped on oxygen masks, took cover in the Russian quarters, and then sealed the hatches between the U.S. and Russian sides.

At the same time, flight controllers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston turned off non-essential equipment.


By Wednesday afternoon, the astronauts returned to the U.S. side. NASA officials said there was no leak of the ammonia coolant and a computer problem likely set off the alarm.

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