Emergency services called to Carlsberg ammonia alarm

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Emergency services were alerted to an ammonia alarm at Carlsberg Northampton
Emergency services were alerted to an ammonia alarm at Carlsberg Northampton
Emergency services responded to an ammonia alarm at Carlsberg’s Northampton brewery this week (23 July).

Fire crews attended the brewery at 9.23pm. A spokesman for the Northamptonshire fire and Rescue Service said: “Fire Service personnel worked with on-site engineers to assess and confirm that the levels of ammonia were safe.

“A number of Carlsberg employees were given precautionary medical checks by on-scene ambulance crews before returning to work.”

Staff were immediately evacuated from the site, according to Carlsberg. There were no admissions to hospital and emergency services left the site by 11:30pm.

‘Too early to speculate cause’

“It is too early to speculate on the cause of the alarm, and we are of course cooperating fully with the emergency services and other agencies whilst the incident is being investigated,”​ said a Carlsberg spokesman.

“The site has now returned to normal operation. We’d like to thank the emergency services for their prompt response to this alarm and dealing with the incident with such professionalism.”

Carlsberg said it continued to cooperate with the emergency services and other agencies while the incident is being investigated.

The alarm followed an inquest into the death of contract worker David Chandler earlier this month, who was caught in an ammonia leak at the Northampton site in November 2016.

The incident, which also left 22 people hospitalised, was deemed accidental but preventable by a jury after an eight-day trial.

Could have done more

Lawyer for the deceased’s family and partner at solicitors Irwinmitchell Hilary Wetherell said it had become apparent during the inquest that Carlsberg could and should have done more to prevent the leak.

We have heard that basic health and safety standards were ignored on this occasion, with the ultimate price being paid,” ​she added.

Meanwhile, refrigerant gas costs keep rocketing for frozen and chilled food firms following the introduction of the EU F-Gas Regulation 517/2014, as quotas for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-based refrigerants shrink.

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