Gas leak at Young's factory


A MAJOR emergency was declared at the Young’s Seafood processing plant in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, late yesterday after 14 people were taken to hospital following a suspected ammonia leak. Two were detained and are said to be in a stable condition.
It happened as workmen – not thought to be Young’s employees – were carrying out routine maintenance work. The leak then spread to another seafood factory next door.
An air ambulance helicopter along with fire fighters, wearing breathing apparatus, and regular ambulance crews were called to the scene.
A Northern Ireland Fire Service spokeswoman said the cause of the leak had been isolated prior to their arrival.
‘Fire fighters gave oxygen therapy to two casualties prior to the arrival of ambulance crews,’ she said.
Fire service commander Alan O\’Neill said later: \”When crews arrived, the gas leak had actually been isolated but the crews carried out a search of the premises with breathing apparatus and gas monitors to just ensure that there was no further gas on the site.
‘It wouldn\’t be something that we come across regularly – it\’s obviously very dangerous – so thankfully on this occasion there doesn\’t seem to be any significant impact from this leak.’
The casualties were taken to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, which put out a message on Twitter: ‘We have implemented our Major Incident Plan following a suspected chemical incident in Kilkeel. We are expecting 14 patients at Daisy Hill Hospital for assessment.’
Young’s later put out a statement saying the incident happened as engineers were conducting routine annual tests, adding that the leak was quickly brought under control.
The company later said the factory was safe to re-enter and seafood production was expected to begin later today. The factory is thought to handle Irish Sea caught scampi.
Picture: An air ambulance was called to the scene after a gas leak at Young\’s Kilkeel factory


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