28 hurt in food factory explosion

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The Independent Online

Twenty-eight people were injured today in an explosion at a food factory, an ambulance service said.

The blast happened in a freezer at the Brakes depot in Bonehill Road, Tamworth, Staffordshire, just before midday.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said 28 people were hurt in the blast. Twenty-one of those were treated at the scene and discharged.

One man suffered 15 per cent burns and was taken to hospital. The conditions of the remaining six are not known.

About 28 firefighters were called to the factory to deal with the explosion.

A spokeswoman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We have crews at the scene trying to find out what happened."

A spokesman for Brakes Group said the blast happened during routine maintenance to the distribution centre's refrigeration plant.

He added: "During routine maintenance by an engineer from our nominated refrigeration contractor, a chemical leak occurred of a small amount of ammonia.

"The engineer received burns and was immediately taken to hospital, where he is receiving treatment.

"A further 15 employees received minor medical attention on site, five of whom were subsequently taken to hospital and all have since been released.

"Following the incident, the centre was immediately and safely evacuated.

"The emergency services have been in attendance and have assured us that there is no cause for concern regarding the ammonia."