Hazardous chemical released from Delaware plant

 (<a href=Anhydrous ammonia photo via ShutterStock. " title="ammonia-169" width="640" height="360"/>

(Anhydrous ammonia photo via ShutterStock.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control says an equipment problem led to the release of a hazardous chemical from a poultry processing facility.

Radio station WDEL reports that the chemical release happened Friday. Environmental officials say that a mechanical failure in a pump led to the release of more than 200 pounds of anhydrous ammonia from a Perdue Farms facility in Milford.

Company spokeswoman Julie DeYoung says that the anhydrous ammonia was being used as a refrigerant and that the incident was reported to the appropriate authorities.

Perdue spokesman Joe Forsthoffer says a part of the plant was evacuated as a precaution for about 20 minutes because people working there smelled ammonia but no one was injured. Forsthoffer says the area around the plant wasn’t affected.

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