More than 20 people hospitalised after forklift gas leak at salmon processing facility

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Incident happened at Tassal site.

ABC News reports that 20 people were taken to hospital for medical assessment after being exposed to gas at Tassal’s Strathblane processing facility in Dover, Tasmania.

Tasmania Fire Service said the incident, which happened at 11.30 am on Sunday, was down to carbon monoxide from forklifts.

Tassal’s Strathblane processing facility in Dover, Tasmania. MAP: Google

“On arrival [the crews] found that people had evacuated the building and there were some people that presented there with some respiratory illness and some people that had been vomiting,” acting district officer Barry Bones said.

The victims were taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital for assessment, with six remaining overnight in a stable condition.

Australian Workers Union representative Robert Flanagan told ABC Radio that in 30 years of this facility operating he’s never heard of a similar incident. “We don’t understand how that could’ve happened,” he said.

On Tuesday, a Tassal spokesperson told SalmonBusiness that the investigation is still underway and it would be premature to comment at this stage. “Our focus remains on supporting our people and their families. The site was deemed safe on Sunday afternoon following thorough inspections from the relevant authorities,” he said.