UPDATE: 3 people hurt in ammonia leak at Wichita Farmland plant

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email
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Wichita, Kan. -- Three people have been hurt, one seriously in an ammonia leak at a southwest Wichita Farmland plant.

It happened around 2:45 p.m. at 2323 South Sheridan. Authorities say when crews arrived on scene, all 101 employees working at the plant had already self-evacuated.

The leak was discovered by the plant's Interior Safety Group.

"They had attempted to turn the ammonium off but they had become overcome," Deputy Fire Chief Tammy Snow said.

Three people suffered inhalation injuries. One was transported to Via Christi-St. Francis is serious condition. The two others refused further treatment.

Hazmat crews from Wichita and Sedgwick County fire departments responded to the scene. They do believe the leak has been shut down and wind and weather conditions are helping dissipate the ammonia in the air.

"We need to ventilate the building. It's up in the attic area and we have opened up some hatches and so forth and have been adding some positive pressure ventilation," Snow said.

A stretch of Pawnee between Southwest Boulevard and Meridian was closed throughout most of the day.

Workers will be kept out of the building until the situation is completely under control, Snow said.

"We'll take our meters in and get readings and as the level of the lower limits go down, we'll allow people to come back in," Snow said.

Many workers were seen being sent home around 7 p.m. Workers and supervisors from Farmland Foods declined to comment.

Fire crews were still on scene late Saturday night.

"We'll be out here until we get it mitigated," Snow said. "If the wind stays up, it will help us. If it dies down, we'll be out here a bit longer."

Previous Story:
Hazmat crews from Wichita and Sedgwick County are on the scene of a possible ammonia leak at a southwest Wichita plant.

It happened around 3 p.m. at the Farmland facility located at 2323 South Sheridan. When crews arrived on scene, Farmland personnel had already been evacuated.

There were initial reports of some possible minor injuries on scene. KAKE's Jason Tarr is son scene tracking this story and we will have more information as soon as it becomes available.

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