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Ammonia cylinder explodes at GEA factory

NETHERLANDS: The emergency services attended the GEA Refrigeration factory in Den Bosch this morning after a “50 litre” ammonia cylinder exploded.

According to local press reports, five people were were treated at the scene but none were taken to hospital. An area of ​​about 200m around the building was cordoned off and local buildings were evacuated, local tv station Omroep Brabant reported.

The Brabants Dagblad newspaper reported that the former Grasso refrigeration factory on the Parallelweg suffered damage with broken windows clearly visible at the back of the building.

UPDATE 18/10/17: The Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment is investigating the cause of the cylinder blast. The officials are said to examining two other similar gas bottles on the site.

Wim van Beerendonk, GEA Refrigeration Netherlands’ director of operations, told the Brabants Dagblad that officials were also questioning the gas supplier and investigating the way in which the cylinders were transported.

The five slightly injured staff were hit by flying glass and had been in the company’s canteen at the time – 10m away from the blast.

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