Firefighters in Hazmat suits deal with chemical explosion at NI factory

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Dozens of firefighters from across Northern Ireland, some in Hazmat suits, spent ten hours dealing with a chemical explosion at global pharmacy firm Almac.

Fourteen applicances attended the incident at the Craigavon Headquarters of the firm in Seagoe Industrial Park.

Eight people working in the facility were evacuated after a drum containing chemicals exploded. No one was injured.

The NI Fire and Rescue Service said it received a call at 8.20pm on September 21 after a steel drum containing chemicals exploded in the building.

Almac in Craigavon. Photo courtesy of Google.Almac in Craigavon. Photo courtesy of Google.
Almac in Craigavon. Photo courtesy of Google.

A spokesperson for the NI Fire and Rescue Service said: “Fourteen Appliances attended the incident. This included Appliances from Portadown, Lurgan, Armagh, Banbridge, Lisburn, Cookstown, Newry, Rathfriland and Newtownhamilton Fire Stations as well as the Specialist Rescue Team.

“Firefighters were called to an incident where a steel drum containing chemicals exploded in a building.

“They wore breathing apparatus and specialist gas tight suits and using two jets and a hose reel jet they decontaminated the area with a bicarbonate solution.

“The incident was dealt with by 5.05am.”

A spokesperson for Almac said: “Almac Group can confirm that at 20:00 on Monday evening a small incident occurred within one of our manufacturing facilities at our Craigavon site.

“Following Health and Safety procedures fire appliances were despatched. Almac Group’s Emergency Response Team and NIFRS worked efficiently together to bring the incident under control. There were no physical injuries to any of the eight members of staff operating in this facility suite at the time of the incident.

“The affected area in one building is now undergoing cleaning and repair. The remainder of the building and the rest of the Almac Craigavon Campus remains operational as normal.

“As is normal procedure, the HSENI has been informed.”

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