HazMat situation in South Gate

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SOUTH GATE (CNS) – A woman was transported to a hospital today after reporting feeling ill because of a suspected ammonia leak at the South Gate cheese factory where she works, authorities said.

The leak at Saputo Cheese USA at 5711 East Imperial Highway was reported around 5 a.m., said Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman.

“A woman said she was feeling sick,” added Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett. As many as two others at the factory also complained of ill-effects from the leak, he said.

Ammonia is used in the refrigeration system, Pittman said. Workers said they plugged the leak, but fire department hazardous materials specialists were on scene making sure it was safe for workers to return inside, he said.

The National Institutes of Health website says exposure to ammonia can cause coughing, chest pain, difficulty breathing, tearing, burning of the eyes, severe throat pain, an altered mental state, severe stomach pain and vomiting.

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