An employee driving a forklift bumped into a pipeline containing ammonia, which forced the evacuation of the Suddekor plant in East Longmeadow, MA, for more than five hours Friday, officials said.
One employee went to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield for an evaluation after complaining of not feeling well after suffering from exposure to ammonia fumes from the spill, said East Longmeadow Fire Chief Richard Brady.
At last report, the worker was doing fine, Brady said.
Firefighters went to the shortly after 11 a.m. for a report of a spill. Initially, official thought the spill was less than 100 gallons, but it ended up being more than that, Brady said.
He said he immediately placed a call to the Western Massachusetts Regional Hazardous Materials Team to take charge of the scene.
It took until about 4 p.m. before they declared the building safe for employees to re-enter, he said. Suddekor hired a private company to finish cleaning up the contaminated area.
Thirty workers had to evacuate as fumes carried through the entire building.
Before firefighters arrived, employees tried to contain the spill by pouring absorbent powder on the floor. They also used exhaust fans to try to direct fumes out of the building.
The spill occurred after an employee driving a forklift bumped into a pipeline containing ammonia, Brady said.