An incident at an Oxnard, CA, onion facility brought ambulances, firefighters and hazardous materials crews to the area late last month fearing an ammonia leak.
First responders got the call at 5 p.m. at the Gills Onions facility Oct. 28, said Ventura County Fire Department dispatch information. Four ambulances were initially requested along with hazardous materials teams.
Fire crews said 71 employees at the facility were all accounted for. They ultimately reported treating 10 patients. Of those, eight complained of minor problems, while two experienced moderate health complaints. The patients were decontaminated at the scene and taken to four local hospitals for treatment.
Calls to Oxnard Fire Department officials have not immediately returned.
Gills on Nov. 4 issued the following statement about the incident:
“On Monday, October 28th at around 5 pm an employee reported feeling ill. Shortly after another employee reported having similar symptoms. Out of an abundance of caution, Gills Onions safety team contacted the Oxnard Fire Department. After an investigation by the Hazardous Materials team, the Oxnard Fire Department Chief Darwin Base confirmed to Gills Onions’ personnel that no ammonia leak had occurred. Employees were cleared to enter the plant at 6:30 PM.”