Ammonia leak prompts evacuation of Southland plant

An aerial view of the South Pacific Meats site at Awarua in Southland. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
An aerial view of the South Pacific Meats site at Awarua in Southland. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
An ammonia leak resulted in a full evacuation at a Southland meat processing plant this afternoon.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand southern communications shift manager Simon Lyford said crews were alerted via a fire alarm at South Pacific Meats in Awarua, Invercargill about 12pm.

Two appliances were initially sent from Invercargill and the plant evacuated.

"They responded to a possible ammonia leak possibly due to a power cut.''

A second alarm was then transmitted once it was a confirmed to be a leak and a Hazmat team was dispatched.

Cordons were established and by about 1.30pm, the leak had been isolated.

About 10 minutes later, the job had been handed back over to the company owner.

No injuries were reported and it was understood staff had returned to the building to resume work.

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