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Workers’ lucky escape after chemical explosion at Almac laboratory in Craigavon

Almac Craigavon

Workers at a laboratory in Craigavon had a lucky escape following a chemical explosion on Monday night.

Firefighters spent the night dealing with the incident, which was officially brought under control just after 5am this morning (Tuesday).

While there was no fire, a highly reactive chemical caused an explosion at the facility, shortly after 8pm.

Fourteen appliances attended the incident. This included crews from Portadown, Lurgan, Armagh, Banbridge, Lisburn, Cookstown, Newry, Rathfriland and Newtownhamilton Fire Stations as well as the Specialist Rescue Team.

A spokesperson for the NI Fire and Rescue Service, told Armagh I: “Firefighters were called to the incident at Seagoe Industrial Park where a steel drum containing chemicals exploded in a building.

“Fire crews wore breathing apparatus and specialist gas tight suits and using two jets and a hose reel jet they decontaminated the area with a bicarbonate solution. The incident was dealt with by 5.05am.”

It is understood the chemical could not be washed down due to its volatile nature but that it could not be let dry out for risk of a further explosion.

A number of employees had evacuated the laboratory prior to the explosion.

Fire crews worked alongside experts on site to come up with a solution, which included the use of the bicarbonate solution in the fire pumps.

There were no reports of any injuries.

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