Gas leak at Morrisons led to 'chemical cloud' hanging over area
A 500m cordon was placed around a supermarket after a refrigeration gas leak led to a "chemical cloud" hanging around the area.
Police and firefighters were called just after midnight on Tuesday, July 24 to the Morrisons supermarket on North Quay Retail Park, closing the surrounding roads in a 500 metre radius while engineers worked at the scene.
According to a spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, officers then went door-to-door to properties in nearby Skamacre Crescent, Field View Drive and Kent Road, urging residents to make sure to close their windows and doors.
Officers from the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and Public Heath England also attended the incident.
The fire service spokesman said a drone had been used to fly over the area to see how the chemical cloud was spreading.
He said: “There was a chemical leak from one of the fridges in the cooling plant.
“They had to cordon off an area of 500m.
“There was a chemical cloud hanging around the area.
“The police and fire service were sent, as were the ambulance service.
“A drone was used to see the extent of the cloud and to see which areas it was affecting.
“Police went round and asked residents to keep their doors and windows shut until the incident was over.”
A spokesman for Morrisons confirmed there had been a refrigeration gas leak at the Lowestoft store and that the building was evacuated for several hours.
The spokesman also confirmed that the supermarket is opened as normal on Tuesday morning.
A spokesman for Suffolk police said officers closed the surrounding roads while the scene was made safe, saying: “There was a refrigeration gas leak. We were called out to Morrisons supermarket.
“There was a gas leak so the surrounding roads were closed to traffic while firefighters, supported by engineers, went in and declared the area safe.
“No-one was evacuated. “From the police’s point of view we wanted to make sure everything was in order before we stood down.”
He added officers left the scene at around 2am.