Colorado Budweiser brewery ammonia leak leaves six in hospital

Firefighters reported finding the harmful gas leaking from a refrigeration system in the beer packaging and shipping building.

Poudre Fire Authority worked together with Anheuser-Busch hazardous materials team to contain the leak

Six people were taken to hospital after an ammonia leak at the Fort Collins Anheuser-Busch brewery in Colorado during the evening of Tuesday 18 December.

Two of the six had to be transported by ambulance while the other four were well enough to travel by private vehicle.

The leak also surrounded the neighbourhood with a highly unpleasant smell.

Ammonia can be corrosive to the skin, eyes, and lungs. The U.S. Department of Labour says exposure to more than 300 parts per million is immediately dangerous to people health and wellbeing, and can be fatal.

Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) was dispatched at 5:18p.m. to the brewery at 3823 Mountain Vista Drive, which makes Budweiser and a number of other beers.

The leak was soon discovered originating from a refrigeration system in the beer packaging and shipping building, and the fire department worked together with the Anheuser-Busch hazardous materials team to bring the leak under control.

PFA said the leak had been contained at 6:31p.m. and that despite the gas stinking up the streets around the plant, that there was no danger at any point to people outside of the brewery.

The local police department in Fort Collins assisted with evacuations of the plant and perimeter control.

The Anheuser-Busch brewery is the oldest and largest in FortCollins, which is home to another 22 breweries. The 30-year-old brewery produces about 10 million barrels of beer annually that is sold all over the U.S.

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