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Ammonia leak at BC dog food plant prompts evacuation

Refrigeration system failed but maintenance contractors had contained it by the time firefighters arrived.

October 24, 2018   by CP STAFF

LANGLEY, BC — An ammonia leak at a dog-food manufacturing facility in the Township of Langley south of Vancouver has forced the evacuation of an industrial area.

Deputy fire chief Bruce Ferguson says the ammonia leaked when a refrigeration system failed but maintenance contractors had contained it by the time firefighters arrived so there is no danger to the public.

However, Ferguson says the fire department has evacuated businesses within a 400-metre radius of the Gloucester Industrial Estates in case the contractors’ vacuum pumps fail.

He says an ammonia alarm would have gone off at the facility that makes freeze-dried dog food, prompting a call to refrigeration contractors.

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Ammonia is used as a refrigerant and a leak can corrode the skin, eyes and lungs and can also cause respiratory failure.