All clear at Bombardier brewery as fire crews deal with chemical leak

Fire fighters wear full kit to tackle chemical leak
Fire fighters wear full kit to tackle chemical leak

A chemical leak at a Bedford brewery, which left roads closed for several hours, has been contained.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to the Charles Wells Brewery in Havelock Street, at 9.15am on Monday morning (November 16) after getting reports hydrochloric acid and sodium chlorite had leaked.

Bob Mortimer as Bombardier Bedford. PNL-150804-114811001

Bob Mortimer as Bombardier Bedford. PNL-150804-114811001

Firefighters put a 150m cordon around the site, the home of Bombardier Beer, as they dealt with the 550-litre spillage.

Group Commander Chris Ball said: “Charles Wells have processes and procedures to deal with these kinds of incidents and we have worked closely with them this morning to tackle the issue and minimise any risk to the public.

“Fire Service hazardous materials specialists worked with Charles Wells staff to neutralise the materials in a safe and thorough way in line with established procedures.

“The leak was contained within a building on the site and Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and hazard material suits used fire hoses to dilute the liquid involved to levels where they could be disposed of without any harm to the environment.”

He added: “I’d like to assure local residents there was no danger to the public during this incident.”

A spokesperson for Charles Wells said the emergency call was made after a “minor leak of Chlorine Dioxide at the brewery which is used in water treatment” was discovered.

She said: “Thanks to the quick reactions of one of our staff we were able to act immediately. The Fire Service joined us on site in Queen’s Park and, as a precautionary measure, cornered off an area at the brewery to conduct standard checks.

“We did have to close access to the brewery for a few hours today and would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank people for their cooperation.”