Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/ROBERT TSHABALALA
Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/ROBERT TSHABALALA

Astral Foods says 15 people have been hospitalised following an ammonia leak at the refrigeration plant of its Festive abattoir in Olifantsfontein, Gauteng, on Friday morning.

“Our primary concern is for the well-being of our staff and their families,” the poultry producer said in a statement. “Of the people who were involved in the incident, 15 were hospitalised; no fatalities have been reported.”

The abattoir and neighbouring businesses were evacuated as a precaution, the company said, adding that it had followed the relevant emergency regulations. The site and surrounding areas had been declared safe by Ekurhuleni Emergency Services.

“The incident will be investigated by the relevant authorities and Astral will assist where necessary with due process. The safety of our staff and the surrounding community is of paramount importance to us.”

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za