Coca-Cola chemical leak prompts evacuation — RT World News

Ammonia leaking from stored 20,000 gallon container raises concerns of wider contamination

Workers at a Coca-Cola factory in Florida have been forced to evacuate following a major chemical leak, local officials said. The spill also prompted a brief shelter-in-place order for area residents.

A massive 20,000-gallon tank revealed an ammonia leak at a facility in Auburndale, Florida early Wednesday morning, a city spokesperson said. said a local Fox affiliate, noting that all employees were evacuated from the plant.

Residents living in a two-block area near the plant were also told to take shelter after the discovery, although the order was lifted several hours later after fire crews managed to plug the leak. Cleanup operations were reportedly completed around 3:30 p.m.

There were no reports of serious injuries among factory employees or local residents, although the Coca-Cola Company later released a statement noting that “a few electrician employees working nearby” sought medical attention “for minor eye and throat irritations.”

Deputy Fire Chief David Cash also said some citizens called to complain about a chemical smell and “irritation” who may have been caused by the spill, but claimed that the substance was largely contained within the plant.

“[Ammonia] comes out in liquid form and then evaporates into vapour, he said. “We had both issues going on. The steam is up and out of the plant, a small amount of it. The liquid was contained and we mixed water in it. You can spray water on it and it minimizes it and it was all contained inside the plant and inside their filtration system so none of that leaked out of the scene.

Cash said the leak was caused by a problem with “piping” on the 20,000 gallon container, adding that while contractors were carrying out work in the plant near the site of the spill, “They followed all the rules and did everything right.” It is unclear what the chemical was used for in the facility.

Coca-Cola also apologized to employees and other locals “for the inconvenience this may have caused them”, insisting on his “The first priority is always the safety of our employees and nearby residents.”

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