Suspected ammonia leak at fish factory

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

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An ammonia leak at a fish processing factory in Kilkeel yesterday afternoon resulted in 13 people being taken to Daisy Hill hospital.
The Newry Democrat understands that the leak originated in Young's factory during a maintenance procedure and spread to Rooney's - another fish factory - next door.
Ambulances, including an air ambulance, were called to the scene.
In a statement released to the Democrat, a spokesperson for Young's Seafood Limited confirmed that the Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) attended Young's after reports of a "suspected small ammonia leak."
“Engineers were on site at the time, conducting routine annual tests, and the leak was stopped immediately," said the spokesperson.
“There are no reports at this time of any Young's employee being effected by the leak.
“The Fire and Rescue team attended the site and we have received confirmation that it is safe to re-enter the site. We are currently liaising with the Fire and Rescue Service and implementing our investigation plan and cannot comment further until we have concluded our investigation.
“We expect production on the site to resume tomorrow (Tuesday, July 17) and our focus is on ensuring the safety and welfare of our team and continuing to provide our customers and consumers with great quality fish and seafood."
The Democrat also contacted Rooney's, but we were told that they did not wish to make a statement on the matter.
Meanwhile, the NIFRS confirmed that there is "no risk" to the public from the leak. In their statement to the Democrat, a spokesperson outlined: "NIFRS was called at 12.38pm to a report of an ammonia gas leak in the vicinity of the Harbour Road, Kilkeel.
“The cause of the leak had been isolated prior to the arrival of Fire Crews. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus surveyed the site with gas monitors to check for the presence of ammonia gas - all readings were zero.
“Firefighters gave oxygen therapy to two casualties prior to the arrival of ambulance crews. There is no risk to the public from this gas leak."
Notwithstanding this statement, the Southern Trust confirmed that a "major incident plan" had been implemented.
The Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland told the Democrat that they were "aware of an incident in a fish factory in Kilkeel, and are carrying out enquiries."
At the time of going to press, the incident was ongoing.


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