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Ammonia leak evacuates Lathrop sausage plant

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Ammonia leak evacuates Lathrop sausage plant

Hazmat officials and fire department personnel discuss their course of action at the ammonia leak Wednesday morning at the Swiss American Sausage plant on Darcy Parkway in Lathrop.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED August 13, 2009 2:40 a.m.
An early morning ammonia leak Wednesday at the Swiss American Sausage Co. in Lathrop caused the evacuation of some 65 employees.

No one was injured in the 8 a.m. hazmat scare that brought fire personnel from other departments in support of the Lathrop personnel as well as the San Joaquin County Emergency Services Hazmat team to the sausage company site.

A faulty valve reportedly broke when an employee attempted to repair it causing the incident at the Darcy Parkway plant just east of Interstate 5 and south of Louise Avenue.  Other nearby businesses in the industrial section of Lathrop were told to keep personnel in place and to turn off their air conditioners.

Lathrop Sheriff’s deputies blocked off Darcy Parkway at the I-5 frontage road preventing truck traffic from nearing the scene of the leak.  Manteca Ambulance and its crew stood by near the scene after the first report of the incident.

Employees sat together on the front lawn under portable shade structures while emergency workers were checking the safety of the building.  The building was reportedly cleared by early afternoon Wednesday awaiting word from the county health department to allow workers to reenter the building.
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