Ammonia leak detected early: Richmond Dairies' Chris Sharpe

Business as usual for Casino's dairy processor.
Business as usual for Casino's dairy processor. Inga Williams

UPDATE 10am: MILK processing has resumed at the Richmond Dairies' factory at Casino after an ammonia leak yesterday.

Emergency Services were called to the factory around 4:30pm yesterday afternoon after an ammonia leak was detected in the refrigeration plant.   "Local residents were also contacted," Richmond Dairies' managing director Chris Sharpe said. "The problem was fixed and normal operations resumed early (this) morning. "Contractors, staff and emergency services are well trained to respond to this type of situation and no one was hurt."  

UPDATE 8am: RICHMOND Dairiers have provided a statement after yesterday's ammonia leak that happened around 4.30pm yesterday.

An ammonia leak had been detected in its refrigeration plant that occurred due to a failure of a valve.

"Contractors were performing routine maintenance in the refrigeration plant when an isolation valve failed resulting in the leak of ammonia," Richmond Dairies' managing director Chris Sharpe said.

"We followed safety procedures and alerted the Police, NSW Fire Brigade and the Ambulance service, as well as Hazmat.

"Police sealed off the street in front of the building as a precaution and the Fire Brigade and Hazmat attended the site. "The problem was fixed and normal operations are expected to resume later on Monday night. Mr Sharpe said contractors are well trained to respond to this type of situation. "I would like to thank the emergency services personnel who attended the incident; their efforts were appreciated," he said. Ammonia has a strong bleach-like smell and this could be smelt in parts of Casino on Monday afternoon. Richmond Dairies apologises for any inconvenience to Casino residents.

INITIAL: RESIDENTS in Dyraaba Street, Casino were forced to shut their windows due to a suspected ammonia leak on Monday night.

Residents living within the vicinity of Richmond Dairies were advised to close the windows and stay indoors.

At the time there was no need for evacuation but police and emergency services arrived on site and roadblocks were put in place.

An update soon advised residents that the gas had dissipated quickly and road blocks were lifted.

Reaction was quick on Facebook with plenty of comments on the Richmond Valley Council page.

One posted that she hoped her exams were cancelled, while for many it was an explanation for the closure of Dyraaba Street.

A couple of residents complained of burning eyes and a gross taste in their mouth.

Topics:  ammonia casino leak

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