Sunday 18 March 2018

Ammonia gas leak at major Cork meat plant

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

AN investigation is underway into a gas leak at a major Irish meat plant.

A quantity of ammonia vapour leaked from a container at Kepak’s facility in Watergrasshill in north Cork.

No-one was injured in the incident and there is understood to be no environmental concerns.

The plant, which is located at Condonstown some 2km outside the north Cork village, was evacuated for a brief period while the leak was tackled.

Seven staff were later given medical screening as a precautionary measure though none had reported injuries.

A total of 40 staff were in the premises at the time the leak was detected on Sunday.

Kepak described the incident as relatively minor and said it occurred in a refrigeration and cold storage area of the Condonstown plant.

The incident was dealt with within minutes of being detected.

The firm insisted there are no safety issues arising.

However, in accordance with procedures both the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were notified.

Both are now liaising with Kepak over the matter.

The Watergrasshill facility ranks as one of the largest plants operated by Kepak.

The firm was established in 1981 and has grown to be one of Ireland’s leading food firms.

It processes beef, lamb and pork in Ireland and beef and lamb in the UK.

Kepak annually processes 250,000 cattle, 800,000 lambs and 300,000 pigs.

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