Posted: Monday, June 9th 2014 at 8:47am
Four workers checked at hospital following ammonia leak
By Derreck Booth Editor
GAINESVILLE - While the exposure wasn't serious, four people were taken to the hospital for observation following an ammonia leak at a Gainesville industry Monday morning.
Gainesville Fire Division Chief Keith Smith said the leak was at Koch Foods on Industrial Boulevard. He says a total of 14 people were checked out for ammonia exposure. 11 refused transport to the hospital, according to Smith.
"Those symptoms range from burning eyes, coughing and some difficulty breathing," Smith said.
Smith said Koch employees had stopped the leak and evacuated the facility as firefighters responded.
"It's (ammonia) just such a heavy irritant to your eyes and to your breathing that it can come up on you pretty fast. Basically, just a little bit of time, maybe some fresh air and you'll be fine," Smith said.
Smith said firefighters remained on scene for an about an hour, until around 9:30 a.m., making sure the leak was secured and that the facility was cleared.
The plant was able to resume operations.
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