The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service were alerted to the leak at the factory on Dobson Park Industrial Estate at 6.35pm. Four fire engines were sent to the scene.
Members of the public took to social media to share images of the roads surrounding the site being blocked off by the emergency services.
@WigToday amonia leek at bakkavor hitchen foods tonight. Areas surrounding to be avoided in ince. Manchester road n incegreen lane to saint williams club blocked off by emergancy services pic.twitter.com/GrC7SJPOnF— K.e.m (@kemie91xx) March 12, 2019
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus isolated the leak from inside of the building and worked closely with on-site engineers to monitor and isolate further systems. Fire crews left the factory at 11.30pm.
Taken to hospital
Paramedics at the scene assessed the 230 members of staff that were evacuated from the building, with 10 people taken to hospital as a precaution.
Commenting at the scene of the incident, Wigan station manager Craig Pinder said: “We are working closely with our partner agencies at this incident to ensure that the area is safe and that the leak has been isolated. I would like to thank all those involved at this incident for their hard work.”
A Bakkavor spokesman told Food Manufacture: “The health and safety of our colleagues is our top priority. Following an ammonia leak at our Bakkavor Meals site at Wigan on the evening of 12 March, the site was evacuated immediately and emergency services called.
“Ten employees sought hospital advice as a precautionary measure and we will continue to support them. The cause of the leak was identified and has been fixed, and the factory is back in production.”
Meanwhile, in December, a chemical leak at 2 Sisters Food Group’s plant in Willand, Devon hospitalised 16 members of staff.
A Fire Service spokeswoman said that the suspected chemical leak was from a storage tank on-site and that four fire appliances attended the scene. Fire crews stayed on-site to await the arrival of an “external specialist company”.