25 June 2010

Ammonia leak at refrigeration plant

AN ammonia leak in the refrigeration plant at the Brakes Chilled Food Distribution centre in Tamworth has injured 28.
A fridge engineer carrying out maintenance received 15% burns, four people suffered breathing difficulties and two others suffered what were described as minor medical issues as a result of the leak on June 25. All were taken to hospital. Twenty-one people were treated at the scene and discharged.

Tamworth Area Commander Del Roberts of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: 'We were called to an incident at Brakes Chilled Food Distribution, Bonehill Road in Tamworth at 11.50am. There has been a chemical leak which we can now confirm is a small amount of ammonia. We had six crews in total at the scene from Tamworth, Lichfield, Burton, Stone and Hanley and one crew from over the border was also in attendance'.

Brakes said in a statement: 'A small and contained chemical leak happened during routine maintenance to our refrigeration plant at our Tamworth distribution depot. The depot was quickly and safely evacuated in accordance with our company evacuation procedure. Unfortunately, an engineer from our refrigeration contractor was injured, he was taken to hospital, where he is making a good recovery. Some of our staff received medical treatment and all are now safe and well. Following a thorough inspection and sign off by the appropriate authorities, the depot was declared safe and is again fully operational'.

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