Ammonia Leak At Dole Plant; 175 Workers Evacuated

175 workers were evacuated at the Dole plant in Atwater because of an ammonia leak.

Merced County Fire officials say a worker inside called 911 at about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday to report an ammonia leak.

A 4-inch pipe inside the plant broke, releasing about 100 gallons of ammonia.

All the workers inside were immediately evacuated and sent home.

Fire officials also evacuated people living in homes one mile north of the plant.

Fire crews stopped the leak and at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, fire officials declared the area safe, and people were allowed to go back home.

No one was hurt by the ammonia leak.

Exposure to ammonia can cause burning of the eyes, nose and throat, even death.

Back in September, one man died at a Sanger winery during an ammonia leak there.

Fire officials say the Dole plant is expected to be back up and running Wednesday.

The plant packages frozen fruits, vegetables, and fruit juices.