Maffra ammonia leak

WORKSAFE has investigated the circumstances of an ammonia leak at Maffra’s Murray Goulburn site on Tuesday night which resulted in a man being hospitalised.

The plant was evacuated for several hours after the below-freezing ammonia leaked from a pipe.

The incident happened about 5.30pm during routine maintenance carried out by an external refrigeration contractor.

Worksafe said a nearby house was also evacuated during the incident.

According to emergency services, a worker had turned off a valve on the pipe and had isolated it, and as he was cutting through it with an angle grinder, some remaining ammonia leaked out.

As a result the man suffered cold burns on his thigh and face and was taken to hospital for treatment.

He was not seriously injured.

Hazardous material response teams from Dandenong and the Latrobe Valley were called to the incident, and according to CFA operations officer Peter Barr, worked into the early hours of Wednesday morning to clear the scene.