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Tuesday September 1st, 2015 2:12PM

Four workers checked at hospital following ammonia leak

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - While the exposure wasn't serious, four people were taken to the hospital for observation following an ammonia leak at a Gainesville industry Monday morning.<br /> <br /> Gainesville Fire Division Chief Keith Smith said the leak was at Koch Foods on Industrial Boulevard. He says a total of 14 people were checked out for ammonia exposure. 11 refused transport to the hospital, according to Smith.<br /> <br /> "Those symptoms range from burning eyes, coughing and some difficulty breathing," Smith said.<br /> <br /> Smith said Koch employees had stopped the leak and evacuated the facility as firefighters responded. <br /> <br /> "It's (ammonia) just such a heavy irritant to your eyes and to your breathing that it can come up on you pretty fast. Basically, just a little bit of time, maybe some fresh air and you'll be fine," Smith said.<br /> <br /> Smith said firefighters remained on scene for an about an hour, until around 9:30 a.m., making sure the leak was secured and that the facility was cleared.<br /> <br /> The plant was able to resume operations.
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