Carlsberg factory: one dead and 22 in hospital after ammonia leak
A 40-year-old man has died and another is in a serious condition after an ammonia gas leak at a Carlsberg factory in Northampton town centre.
22 people, including 11 staff, two police officers and nine firefighters, were taken to hospital following the incident on Wednesday (9 November).
A 51-year-old man working on the site remains in a serious but stable condition, it was confirmed.
A post-mortem examination is due to be held on the brewery worker who died.
Ammonia, a colourless, reactive gas that is lighter than air, has a strong odour similar to urine and is an important industrial chemical. In high levels ammonia may cause burns and swelling in the airways, lung damage and can be fatal.
Darren Dovey, Northamptonshire’s chief fire officer, said the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had asked fire crews to be redeployed to the site on Thursday to make sure the gas had dissipated and “all of the valves have been completely isolated”.
Confirming ammonia gas was used as refrigerant to cool down the site and the production process, Julian Momen, chief executive officer of Carlsberg UK, said: “We are deeply, deeply saddened by today’s tragic incident and subsequent fatality.
“Our immediate thoughts are with the individual’s family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time and we will support them in every way we can.
He added: “Our further thoughts and support are with our colleagues and members of the emergency services who are being treated in hospital.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of everyone working for us.
“We are working closely with the authorities to investigate how this tragic incident occurred and we will be in a position to say more once a full investigation has been concluded.”
In a statement Nothamptonshire police said that a joint police and Health and Safety Executive investigation is likely to continue over the coming weeks.
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