Chemical spillage at Suffolk brewery

EMERGENCY services are tackling an acid leak at the Greene King brewery in Bury St Edmunds tonight.The roads around the brewery have been cordoned off by the police after 200 litres of acid spilled out of a 1,000 litre tanker inside the building.

Russell Claydon

FIREFIGHTERS have dealt with a spillage of sulphuric acid at a Suffolk brewery tonight.

The alarm was raised at the Greene King brewery in Bury St Edmunds after 200 litres of acid leaked from a container shortly after 7pm.

Police cordoned off the surrounding area, closing off Southgate Street and Maynewater Lane, while the brewery was evacuated.

Thirty firefighters were called to the incident, inside the east fermenting building - next to the main brewing house - which was reported to security by a worker at 7.10pm.

A decontamination unit was set-up at the scene with specially-trained firefighters entering the building wearing gas-tight chemical suits. The incident was declared safe by 9.40pm.

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Frances Brace, spokeswoman for Greene King, said no-one had been injured in the incident, which she said was dealt with swiftly and safely.

“Nobody was at risk. All our evacuation procedures were immediately put into action,” she said.

“We will be carrying out a thorough investigation into how it happened and to ensure it never happens again.”

Fire crews transferred the sulphuric acid, which had leaked from a 1,000 litre container, into an over-sized drum to be disposed of by the Environment Agency.

Pat Dacey, assistant divisional officer with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “They use acids to clean the internal pipe work system they operate and a valve failed which caused the leak.

“There has been no damage and it has been a textbook incident to be honest.”