Parts of Abbotsford were evacuated Monday evening after an ammonia leak at Abbyland Foods.
Central Fire District chief Bert Nitzke says the evacuation started around 7 pm Monday night after a gas leak in an ammonia line that helps refrigerate parts of the plant. “Created a plume of ammonia gases that went up in the air, and then consequently across the area and affected not just the employees but some of the residents as well in the area.”
Emergency crews took 18 patients to local hospitals, and Nitzke says they were lucky to have so few victims. “Many things were in our favor. Weather was in our favor. They executed their plans right to the T of what they were supposed to do.”
Emergency crews were able to reach valves in order to shut down the leak, and the evacuation order was lifted after about two hours.
If anyone in the area is still suffering symptoms of ammonia poisoning or feeling sick in any way, they should contact their healthcare provider or emergency services.